Khan almost wasn't Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness

Illustration for article titled Khan almost wasn't Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness

In the months leading up to the release of Star Trek Into Darkness, we got a lot of "Is he or isn't he?" teases as to whether Benedict Cumberbatch's character would be Khan Noonian Singh. Screenwriter Roberto Orci reveals in a new interview that, even during the scripting phase, there was a lot of debate about whether J.J. Abram's second Trek movie would include Khan.


The good folks at the Mission Log Podcast recently interviewed Orci about the Star Trek Into Darkness villain, and the full interview will be online on September 16th. But 1701 News got a sneak listen to the interview and has shared a few of the details.

Orci talks about how he and the rest of the STID writing team had Khan in mind from the beginning, and even contemplated a Heart of Darkness-style story, with the crew of the Enterprise seeking out a Kurtzian Khan. It wasn't until after they tried to come up with non-Khan stories that they developed the idea of a man who had been manipulated by Starfleet and ended up becoming a terrorist. That man, they ultimately decided, was Khan.

But Orci makes this rather odd statement about the role of the Kirk-Khan relationship in the Star Trek universe:

"You can't do Batman without The Joker," he said. "We knew it would be tricky, and we knew it would lead to a vocal outcry by some fans. But, you know, you have to make tough decisions, when you do something like this."

Well, Khan is an iconic villain much like the Joker, but I would hardly describe a fellow who showed up twice in the span of 79 episodes and six films with the original Star Trek cast as the Joker to Kirk's Batman. (Although now I keep picturing William Shatner in a cape and cowl.) But this may help explain the overeagerness to wedge as many Wrath of Khan references into the film as possible.


We'll have to listen to the full interview next week, but in the meantime, head over to 1701 News for more on Khan and Orci's not-terribly-convincing defense of Alice Eve's underwear shot.

Find Out How Khan Almost Wasn't Khan [1701 News]




I was just telling a friend that, in hindsight, they probably shouldn't have gone with Khan. But they did and honestly, I enjoyed the movie. I'm just really tired of fans bashing it and whining about it. "It's not Roddenberry's vision!" Oh, shut up. That's gone. Gene L. Coon shaped TOS and made it great. Listen to the writers on the first two seasons of TNG talk about how handcuffing Roddenberry's vision was for them. The franchise was dead when Abrams got the call. Dead to the general public and Paramount is in the business of making movies for the general public and making money. It needed a kickstart. Now, I don't agree with everything but for the most part they got it back on it's feet. Let's just try to enjoy what we have. I can't tell you how many people I had the same type conversations with when TNG debuted. "It's not Trek!" Enough.