JJ Abrams talks about Benedict Cumberbatch’s character in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

'He is sort of average' says director

JJ Abrams has opened up about the villainous character that Benedict Cumberbatch will play in the forthcoming Star Trek Into Darkness.

The Sherlock actor will take on the role of John Harrison in the film, but the back story and motives of his character have been shrouded in mystery. Speaking to Screen Rant, Abrams said: “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.”

He went on to say: “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 than they ever anticipated. Into Darkness is very much about how intense it gets and really what they are up against.”

Abrams, who recently revealed that he turned down the chance to direct Star Wars: Episode 7 due to his commitment to Star Trek Into Darkness, is currently readying the film ahead of its release on May 17, 2013. The first nine minutes of the flick are now previewing ahead of select IMAX screenings of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. NME attended one of the first screenings and provides a full run-down here, but be prepared for spoilers.

In addition to Cumberbatch, the film’s cast also includes Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, Zoe Saldana, John Cho and Alice Eve. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click to watch an extended trailer.