Abrams Gives Vague Quotes on 'Into Darkness' with New Set of Photos
"You think your world is safe - it is an illusion." There's no question that thanks to the early teaser trailers and hype they have been building, J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness is one of our most anticipated movies of 2013. A few weeks ago, I attended a special event at the Bad Robot offices in Santa Monica where the cast and crew was on hand to talk, guardedly, about the sci-fi sequel. While we learned a few interesting things then, more quotes have started to arrive from J.J. Abrams, and villain Benedict Cumberbatch, courtesy of new interviews with other outlets. Empire has also debuted a batch of photos in their new issue.
Some of these quotes come from the pages of Empire (via The Playlist), where they've teased some of the photos and quotes online (but not everything yet), as well as from TrekMovie where they've been keeping track of everything stated so far. Everything mentioned is fairly vague and won't reveal anything we haven't already surmised or seen in the trailer, but they're interesting quotes to read (and photos) nonetheless. Up first, J.J. talks about how exactly the Into Darkness title connects to the story, and it all sounds damn good:
"I love movies that are big and unabashedly a huge fan of big pop mass appeal movies. I do love that. I love being in a theater packed with people and everyone gasping at the same time and having that communal experience. I don’t like going to the movies to feel bad. I don’t like going to the movies to feel depressed and feel diminished. 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."
This is why I totally love J.J. Abrams. He's just like me, and he loves movies the same way I do, and makes them (pretty much) for someone like me to enjoy. Meaning, I'm just like him in the way "I love movies that are big and unabashedly a huge fan of big pop mass appeal movies." Beyond that, I'm just excited to hear he's really going all out with the emotions this time, as that's the sense I get watching the footage anyway. First up in images, here are new covers from Empire for Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness (click for bigger):
Continuing on in another vague quote, J.J. Abrams talks briefly about the villain, named John Harrison, played by Cumberbatch. We've been introduced to him in multiple ways, now it's just a matter of figuring out who he really is and what he does. However, I think Bad Robot knows how to tease things just enough that we won't know the real story until May when we see the finished film. In the meantime, J.J. says that while this is a sequel, it's not necessarily a requirement to have seen his first movie from 2009. He explains:
"So this movie doesn’t require you have seen the first movie. 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."
Sounds great to me. As others have pointed out, that reference to the terrorist attack in London seems to be the connection to the smoldering futuristic London on the background of the first Star Trek Into Darkness teaser poster. Speaking of the villain, he appears in a few new photos culled from the pages of Empire in their article on Into Darkness. A few of these are worth seeing, others are bland glamor shots. Take a look:
In a completely separate interview with Benedict Cumberbatch found by The Playlist, the British actor speaks about playing the villain and without saying much, says quite a bit. While many have assumed he was Khan or a variation of Khan, that whole theory now seems to be up in the air after his name and the footage. My own thoughts: after everything I've seen, my feeling is that we are going to see a character that is an amalgam of Khan from "Space Seed" and a fresh new villain hand-made for this new movie. Which is kind of what Cumberbatch gets at when he responds to a question about his character. Here he drops a great quote:
"When J.J. described the role to me… he described someone who was, in movie terms, a mixture of Hannibal Lecter, Jack in 'The Shining,' and the Joker in 'Batman'… He's someone who has enormous physical strength. He's someone who is incredibly dangerous, both as a physical entity and through the use of various technologies and weapons and who performs acts of what I would describe as terrorism. He's also a psychological master. He manipulates the minds of those around him to do his bidding in a very, very subtle way."
Now that is the kind of villain I'm excited to see fully realized in a big, bold Star Trek "space opera" sci-fi movie. That combination of Hannibal and Joker and Jack sounds deviously delectable and if they can pull off that kind of iconic character, without making it seem like another take on one of those, this may just top J.J.'s first movie and even some of the original Star Trek movies. For now, per Ethan's suggestion, I'm not trying to ruin the mystery of the villain early, because this already is at the top of our most anticipated list. We've got another five months to go, but I'm sure it will be worth the wait in the end. For more of the photos scanned from the magazine, visit The Film Stage or pick up the latest issue of Empire. Stay tuned for more.