Star Trek Into Darkness: Did EW Just Spill The Beans About Cumberbatch’s Role?

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UPDATE: We just finished reading the EW story in question, and it DOES NOT confirm the rumor below. It could be somebody jumping the gun, it could be a mistake, it’s not clear. Stay tuned…


If this all proves to be true, it’ll be interesting to see if any heads roll over this. This has been one of the biggest mysteries and entertainment stories of the past year, so you have to figure the official announcement would be a big deal. It’s the sort of thing that you’d expect to be revealed in a press conference, or a new trailer, or anything, really, more exciting than a random webpage from Entertainment Weekly. At this point, Abrams and crew haven’t confirmed anything, so we have to list this as a rumor…but it definitely has the air of truth about it.

Everything below here is full of HUGE SPOILERS, so don’t scroll down past the adorable picture of Geordi Cat if you want to remain ignorant.


Alright then. Everybody ready? Then we won’t beat around the bush. Here’s an image taken from Entertainment Weekly’s back issues store (first spotted by Comic Book Movie). And a bit more spoiler space, just to be sure…





Here we go:


So, outside the unlikely possibility of it being a mistake on the part of some EW web lackey, that seems pretty cut and dried, don’t it? The “Kirk & Khan” headline is one two different covers for the current issue of EW, the other featuring “Kirk & Spock.” So, for the moment at least, this definitely seems to be legit.

And if it is true, I’m glad we can all stop arguing about the mystery, but I also think this is one of the laziest and least interesting choices they could have made. I’m not in the hardline camp that thinks Khan should never be used in this Abrams verse, but to play that card this soon? What was the point of creating a new universe at all if we’re just going to cruise through the same territory?

There is still the matter of Robert April — who we thought could well be Cumberbatch’s true identity — appearing in the precursor comic series, so it seems likely that he will factor into this in some fashion as well. When April first appeared in the comic a few weeks ago, some argued that his character would in fact be played by Peter Weller, who is in the Into Darkness cast but whose character still hasn’t been officially identified.

If Cumberbatch is indeed Khan, this would give credence to recent rumors that perhaps Weller’s April discovers Khan on the Botany Bay, as opposed to Kirk in the original timeline. Why he’s suddenly a white British dude remains to be seen.

Stay tuned to GFR for more when it’s available.


  1. OR the magazine could be doing a back story on kirk and khan or a comparison between new universe st2 film vs old st2 film loads of different things that could be

  2. I’m going to go out on a limb, and say that they were comparing Cumberbatch’s character as being the “New Khan”, kind of like “New Coke”–that is, not the same at all, just a familiar name to hang your simile on. “New Star Trek Kirk & Khan” reads to me as, “Oh hey, yeah, this is a reboot, so here’s Kirk’s NEW epic rival in our divergent timeline.”

    Of course, I could be way off too. Honestly, I don’t care either way. Either it’s Khan, or it’s Khan with a different name and background, but I think we all knew going in that Cumberbatch was playing an intelligent megalomaniac. I’m not entirely sure it matters how he fits into the trope as long as he does it well.

  3. saw says:

    It was a comparison… two rivals. Give this a rest – the movie will be out soon, and you can all see it, and argue about what it got wrong, and what color the Enterprise was supposed to be, and what can and can’t go underwater etc.etc.etc. AFTER you have a basis to make an evaluation. Speculation like this is pointless.

  4. Erik Beard says:

    Interesting though…if the screenshot above is legit, it is no longer on the EW back issue page linked to above. Now, the caption next to both issues says “Kirk & Spock” – even though only one issue actually has Spock’s picture on the front. If they changed it, that says “oops” to me. Makes you wonder if someone at EW is in a whole heap-o-trouble for spilling the beans.

  5. It doesn’t matter who Cumberbatch is playing. With Orci and Krutzman writing and Jar Jar Abrams directing, its going to be a terrible movie. Sadly, it will rake in a billion dollars due to all the hype sites like this (and commenters like us) have given it. Millions more will buy tickets just to see an xbox-grade CGI job of the Enterprise swan diving into the ocean.

  6. bhak1 says:

    It feels very funny to me… why would Paramount/Abrams give EW the exclusive after all of this secrecy? Something tells me they were making the covers and they wanted something catchy (as they are trying to sell these things) and they said,

    “How about, ‘Kirk and…. and….’ wait, what is his character’s name?”

    [EW is more known for keeping up with the Kardashians than with geek rumors]

    “Well… nobody knows… but it’s rumored that he might be playing Khan…”

    “Khan. Great, go with it. Just say that he’s ‘rumored’ to be playing him in the article”

    Maybe I’m grasping for straws but it just doesn’t add up for me. Furthermore, I still have my doubts about him being Khan. Cumberbatch’s character is described as someone you’re supposed to feel bad for and feel that he has a good cause… that could never have been said of Khan who was a champion of eugenics. We’ll see.

  7. Chris Healey says:

    I am still counting on it being Kirk from the mirror universe. both Cumberbatch and Pine have simaliars, plus the both resemble Shatner a little bit.

  8. Desdinova says:

    Even if he is the new Khan, He does not have to be the original Khan…Enterprise established that there were other genetically enhanced individuals out there…He could be one of the embryos modified by Dr. Arik Soong and grown in a more recent laboratory, or even another unknown batch of embryos grown in secret. Since the timeline was altered after Enterprises time they are still available in the current one.