Cumberbatch's Star Trek villain revealed?

Could the Sherlock star be playing character called John Harrison?

The identity of the villain character played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the forthcoming 'Star Trek' sequel may have been revealed.

[Related story: First look - Star Trek Into Darkness trailer]

A caption on a newly-released still from the film lists the actors on screen, naming Cumberbatch as a character called John Harrison.
(Credit: Paramount)

The big rumour circulating Cumberbatch was that he could be playing Khan, the genetically-engineered tyrant played by Ricardo Montalban in 'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan'.

But here's the thing... John Harrison isn't an unknown in the 'Star Trek' universe. In 'Space Seed', an episode form the original 1967 series, Harrison was nearly suffocated on board the Enterprise by none other than Khan Noonien Singh himself.

Could Harrison be an alias? Or has Khan perhaps assumed his identity to infiltrate Starfleet?

The real identity of Cumberbatch's character in 'Star Trek Into Darkness' has been a closely-guarded secret thus far, with much speculation surrounding it. It's been variously thought that he may also be playing Gary Mitchell, a Star Fleet officer who gains ESP powers, but who becomes a mortal enemy of Kirk.

Director JJ Abrams is known for keeping his plots secret, meaning that revealing the identity as 'John Harrison' could be purposeful misdirection.

Either way, it won't be until the film opens on May 17, 2013, that fans will find out.