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'Star Trek' Star Karl Urban Reveals Possible Sequel Villain

During a recent interview, Urban mentions the name of the character played by Benedict Cumberbatch – and it's not the one many expected.

Benedict Cumberbatch Karl Urban - P 2012
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Five minutes after the first public screening of J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot Star Trek, fans began to speculate that Khan Noonien Singh, perhaps the most famous foe in the history of the franchise, would be the villain in a sequel. (Read no further if you would rather not have the truth spoiled.)

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But in a recent interview to promote his current project Dredd, Karl Urban may have inadvertently revealed the actual name of the character who’s squaring off against the crew of the Enterprise: Gary Mitchell.

In an interview with SFX, Urban relayed his feelings about working alongside Sherlock Holmes actor Benedict Cumberbatch, revealing his long-concealed identity. “He’s awesome,” Urban said. “He’s a great addition, and I think his Gary Mitchell is going to be exemplary.”

What’s particularly noteworthy about the revelation – other than the fact that his name isn’t Khan – is that Mitchell was effectively the first villain in Star Trek history. Although the episode in which he appears, “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” was broadcast third on television, it was created as a second pilot for the series after NBC rejected its predecessor, “The Cage.”

In the episode, Mitchell, played by 2001 star Gary Lockwood, is a longtime friend of Captain Kirk’s who develops superhuman abilities including telepathy and telekinesis after the ship encounters a mysterious barrier. Kirk is eventually forced to kill Mitchell after attempting to banish him on the planet of Delta Vega.

If screenwriters Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof and Roberto Orci adhere at all to the narrative of the episode, Mitchell will be a formidable enemy for Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise. In a recent interview with THR, Kurtzman revealed that in the sequel, “Kirk doesn’t understand what it means to be captain,” suggesting that the fledgling commander has yet to experience the unenviable responsibility of sending crew members to their deaths.

Mitchell’s storyline could make for some particularly interesting dramatic possibilities if Kirk is not only forced to see his crew killed, but be responsible for the death one of his oldest friends from Starfleet Academy.