Star Trek writer confirms Benedict Cumberbatch plays a canon character, but not who Karl Urban says

Highlights from an interview from with screenwriter Roberto Orci are below the break, with mild spoilers. A couple of weeks ago you were on a radio show and you confirmed that Benedict Cumberbatch is not playing Gary Mitchell in the sequel. Then last week Karl Urban says he is playing Gary Mitchell. Both can’t be true.

Roberto Orci: All I can say is that when I did that radio interview I had just been doing 22 hours of press. I had just got off a flight from New Zealand… Nice callback, but are you sticking with your original comment and it isn’t Gary Mitchell.

Roberto Orci: I would say that I never lie. While Karl tests all those hypo spray props on himself [laughs] So how long will we not know who Benedict Cumberbatch is playing? How long will you guys try to not talk about it?

Roberto Orci: For as long as we can because of our belief that one of the fun things about Star Trek that distinguishes it from other franchises is that the story turns. It isn’t just the spectacle of Star Trek, not just the explosions and the battles, it is the plot. That is why we are so protective of plot and character with this particular franchise. In others that isn’t the case but in this one we can preserve the experience for some people of not knowing exactly until we get there. Will we succeed in keeping it under wraps? Probably not, but we will try it. OK, I want to try and get something out of you that is actually new about the movie. Kind of like you did on the radio show but I will name a guest actor in the sequel and you will say if they are playing a new character you created or one from the original Star Trek canon.

Roberto Orci: OK, I’ll play.

[After going through all the new cast members] OK and the big one, Benedict Cumberbatch.

Roberto Orci: Canon. What have been some of your reactions to the footage you have seen so far?

Roberto Orci: I am such a Star Trek fan that I’m not sure I would dislike anything we have shot so I’m not sure I’m a good source. I see them all in uniform on the ship and I’m like “Wow! This is great! New Star Trek!” But I’m the wrong guy to ask. But every few weeks during dailies I would see a new email chain go around with stuff like “Did you see that scene yesterday?” “Did you see Spock in that new close?” “Did you see Cumberbatch make it sound like poetry?” So to hear other people chattering about it is encouraging. And it’s big. It’s so big. It’s epic. We just really went for a bigger version than we did last time, because of the trust.

Read the full interview with Roberto Orci over at, which includes plenty more information on the other cast members and the ongoing post production on the film, due for release worldwide in May 2013.

  1. intergalacticexplorer reblogged this from sherlockology and added:
    Reblogging solely because of Cumby’s face there. It. Kills. Me.
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    "Did you see Cumberbatch make it sound like poetry?" I NEED this.
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