Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cumberbatch, Abrams Talk Trek Bad Guy and Story

As part of a promotional swing to raise awareness of Star Trek Into Darkness, JJ Abrams and Benedict Cumberbatch went to Japan and participated in a few interviews. While the talk continued to have no spoilers, Cumberbatch talked about what movie characters helped inform the creation of John Harrison (film's big bad) while Abrams teased a few story details about Harrison being a member of Starfleet whose agenda includes attacks on London and the US. He also confirmed the lens flares will return.

Benedict Cumberbatch (video below):
JJ described the role in movie terms as a mixture of Hannibal Lector, Jack in the Shining and The Joker in Batman. There are sorts of levels to pitch in amongst quite a high bar as well to succeed in comparison to. It was a framework to understand this character before I saw the whole script.

I would say he is three dimensional in a way that he has a purpose, unlike the villains can sometimes go in franchises where it is just the obstacle – just this immovable thing this entity in the way or destroying what the good guys do. This person has real purpose behind his actions – his intention. It doesn’t mean I condone them, but I can empathize with the reasons. So there is a degree of leaning in and understanding and caring about him as well as being terrified about what he is doing.
JJ Abrams
The characters are a group of people who have recently come together and find themselves up against this incredibly terrifying force. His name is John Harrison and he is sort of an average – that is what makes him so scary – he is just an average guy who works in an organization called Starfleet, and he turns against the group because he has got this back-story and this kind of amazing secret agenda. After two very violent attacks, one in London and one in the US, our characters have to go after this guy and apprehend him. And it is a far more complicated and difficult thing then they ever anticipated. "Into Darkness" is very much about how intense it gets and really what they are up against.

The reason you go to the movies is to feel bigger and stronger and happier. So this is a movie that they certainly go ‘Into Darkness,’ but I would be the wrong director if it was about characters staying there. This is very much a movie about hope, about love, about romance, and about facing something that is truly terrifying and finding a way through the connection of your family and surviving and being stronger afterwards.

When we made the first Star Trek we never added lens flares, it was always ‘in camera.’ And I do love them and I know I get beaten up some times because of it. But it actually works pretty well in conversion

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