Benedict Cumberbatch Shared His Star Trek Secrets With Stephen Hawking

Cumberbatch in Star Trek Into Darkness. Also Karl Urban.
Cumberbatch in Star Trek Into Darkness. Also Karl Urban.
Image: Paramount Pictures

When Benedict Cumberbatch appeared as the antagonist of Star Trek Into Darkness, the identity of the character he was playing was kept very secret, to the point that JJ Abrams straight-up lied about it. But apparently Cumberbatch spilled the beans to one special person.

Appearing on the Graham Norton Show recently, Cumberbatch revealed that, while he’s generally very good at keeping spoilers to himself, he felt, in this case, that the late Stephen Hawking deserved to know. So, while in production on Into Darkness, and three margaritas deep, Cumberbatch let slip that he was actually playing Khan in the film, the famous antagonist from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

No word in this clip on how Hawking, who passed away last month after a lifelong struggle with ALS, responded to the gossip, but my best guess is: “Duh.”

io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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Imagine how much better this movie would have been if they’d just dropped the fucking secret and played it straight. Kirk wouldn’t know who he was anyway, but we did. You could play that off so much more effectively in building him as a villain. With all the unnecessary bullshit obfuscation gone (and dump the equally unnecessary second villain), and this movie becomes way better. Fucking Abrams.