I kid you not. We may have just had the bad guy explicitly stated for us, but the power of Abrams and his secret-keeping is such that we cannot trust it.
Urban, the Lord of the Rings veteran who took over the role of Dr. Leonard McCoy from original Bones DeForest Kelley, is playing Judge Dredd in September's Dredd. While promoting that film, he was asked by Rob Power of SFX about Cumberbatch and his role in the film, to which Urban replied,
"He’s awesome, he’s a great addition, and I think his Gary Mitchell is going to be exemplary.”
Gary Mitchell goes way back on Gene Roddenberry's original Trek series, all the way back to "Where No Man Has Gone Before," shot as the second pilot for the series (following 'The Cage") and ultimately aired as the third episode on television. Mitchell, played by Gary Lockwood, is an old friend of Captain Kirk's from back in their days at Starfleet Academy. When the Enterprise attempts to pass through a barrier at the edge of the galaxy, Mitchell ends up with godlike psychic powers that make him extremely dangerous. Kirk's put in a tough spot, with Spock advising him to kill Mitchell.
So it would seem that Urban just spilled the beans. Except that Urban's no stranger to big, secretive movies, and this seems like a rookie mistake. Not to mention that just a few weeks ago, Roberto Orci, who co-wrote the sequel screenplay with Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof, included Gary Mitchell on a list of character he emphatically stated would 100% not show up in the next Star Trek. Obviously this doesn't add up, and somebody is spreading disinformation. It could be that said disinformation is happening at the behest of Abrams, or it could be misunderstandings caused by the appetite for clarity on this particular subject.
Persistent rumors have suggested that the villain is famous bad guy Khan Noonien Singh, originally played by Ricardo Montalban. Simon Pegg, the new-look Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott outright denied that's Khan's terrorizing the Enterprise crew back in May.
We're through the looking glass here, people.
Whoever the character is, he's played by Benedict Cumberbatch, so there's a really good chance he'll be outstanding. He'll be going head to head with the returning castmembers from Star Trek, including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, and Bruce Greenwood. The cast also features newbies like Alice Eve and Peter Weller.
We might just find out who the villain of the new Star Trek movie is when the twelfth installment in the series arrives in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on May 17, 2013.