Sequel Bits: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Villain Speculation And Other Talk, Plus 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes,' And 'The X-Files 3'

Clearly some of the biggest movie talk today involves theories on just what the Star Trek Into Darkness teaser trailer means. More specifically, what character does Benedict Cumberbatch play? Is he a version of the famous baddie Khan? A take on the classic TV enemy Gary Mitchell? Or someone else altogether?

That image above is one of several pieces of "evidence" that Cumberbatch might be Khan, but it is by no means conclusive. In addition to that, after the break we've got:

  • The Russian title and poster for Star Trek Into Darkness, which could spur minor discussion,
  • Jonathan Frakes hopes in vain for Next Generation characters to show up in an Abrams film,
  • Andy Serkis talks a bit about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,
  • and The X-Files 3 just isn't going anywhere right now.
  • With the "announcement trailer" for Star Trek Into Darkness hitting late last night, we got our first real look at the second J.J. Abrams take on Trek. Some of the costume details worn by Benedict Cumberbatch are leading to speculation that he really is playing Khan, or a riff on the character at least. (See the "ruffles" in both costumes, as shown in the header pic.) The hands-on-glass still from the Japanese version of the teaser (seen below) also really echoes the end of Star Trek II doesn't hurt — if Cumberbatch is Khan, then could this movie end in the same way as Wrath of Khan, and in doing so put previous comments from Zachary Quinto into order?

    There are also reasonable theories that the bad guy is Gary Mitchell, and is one of the sites with a good rundown of reasons and examples.

    In addition, the trailer really highlights the "into darkness" angle, with a distinct lack of the hope that has always been a core part of Trek. The Russian title for the film, as it turns out, is Star Trek: Vengeance, which was also an early alternate title for the film. This Russian teaser poster (below, via Trekmovie) shows the title treatment, which the local distributor for the film says "will make perfect sense, when you'll see the movie."

    Vengeance is a concept clearly reflected in the first teaser for the movie, leading many to focus on the idea that this film will be much more "dark" than other Trek projects. (And helping the Wrath of Khan speculation.) But I wonder about that being marketing smokescreen. While I expect the darkness will characterize the second act of the film, I'd also expect to see a big hopeful surge at the end. (Unless Abrams & Co. are really aping Star Trek II, in which case all the hope will have to be in the third film.)

    While we're on the subject of Star Trek, Jonathan Frakes, who played Commander Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, has talked about the idea of bringing TNG characters into the J.J. Abrams films. He very optimistically says,

    I am very hopeful [for a big-screen TNG reunion]. I'm not sure where we would be – I happen to be a fan and a friend of J.J.'s and I think he's rebooted the franchise in the most successful and wonderful way imaginable. And I'm really excited about the second movie. I think maybe some version of what they did with Leonard Nimoy in the first movie would be the way to go: they would pepper in one of us. I would imagine they'd start with Picard if they could. It would involve our usual time travel/quantum anomaly/black hole/some sci?fi version of how we all get there.

    "Very hopeful" is about the only thing he could be, although "realistically pessimistic" might be better. [NBC Philadelphia via Trekmovie]

    In other "TV-to-screen" news, there has been continuing talk about a third X-Files film to follow the 2008 release The X-Files: I Want to Believe. That movie was a did, but David Duchovny, creator Chris Carter, and producer Frank Spotnitz have all talked about a third film in the past, regardless. Now Den of Geek talked to Spotnitz again. The producer says "I've known for many years what I would like the movie to be and I've been talking to Chris Carter about it for many years, but there is no script." He does explain, for those who haven't followed along, that that the plot is based in "the climax of the alien colonization story that began the series."

    With Andy Serkis doing lots of press for The Hobbit, the question of his other big film franchise has come up. And so we've got new quotes from Serkis on the role that Caesar will play in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes:

    The interesting thing now will be how Caesar operates in this world – because of the virus that hits at the end of the first movie – and how Caesar brings an accord between the apes and the surviving humans and that's going to be interesting where we take that.

    ComingSoon has the quote, but it is Badass Digest that theorizes that the film will go into deep sci-fi territory, as the Serkis comment about surviving humans leads Devin to think,

    ...the movie's going to be quite scifi, with the world in ruins. My guess: just as in Battle there are conflicts within ape society about how to deal with the humans. Meanwhile, the humans take one last run at the apes.. maybe even going so far as to launch nukes, bringing us closer to the status quo of the original Planet of the Apes.