Star Trek Heads Into Darkness, With Benedict Cumberbatch

Slate's Culture Blog
Dec. 6 2012 10:43 AM

Star Trek Heads Into Darkness

Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek Into Darkness.

Yet another franchise seems to be aiming squarely for Dark Knight territory. That’s the message we get from this new one-minute teaser trailer for the new Star Trek movie, which lives up to its title Star Trek Into Darkness.

So who’s the man calling down all this darkness? No, it’s not Christopher Nolan, though you’ll hear more than enough braAHHMs to suggest as much. (It feels tedious to even point those out anymore. That trick’s more than two years old!) Instead, it’s the mysterious villain played by Benedict Cumberbatch, Slate’s favorite otter-resembling Briton and the star of Sherlock.

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Cumberbatch is also voicing Smaug, the Big Bad of the new Hobbit movies, and here he seems more than up to the task of playing a fearsome villain. Just exactly who is that villain? It’s not 100 percent clear, though (spoiler alert) the Japanese trailer, in an extra scene, strongly evokes Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Perhaps Cumberbatch will reprise that movie’s titular villain.

The darkness seems to befit the Star Trek universe just fine, and I trust director J.J. Abrams’ hand after the bang-up job he did with the first one. But I hope he doesn’t forget the original’s sense of fun, or that its greatest sallies fired were the verbal ones between Mister Spock and Captain James Tiberius Kirk.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

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