Speaking in the latest issue of Total Film Magazine (quotes via CBM), both J.J. Abrams and Benedict Cumberbatch open up about Cumberbatch’s mysterious villain in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’ In the sequel to Abrams’ reboot of the iconic sci-fi franchise, Cumberbatch is said to be playing John Harrison; “terrorist”, hand-to-hand combat expert and all round evil b****d. Discussing his role, Cumberbatch said, “I did a lot of close combat training. He’s a kick-ass warrior, as masterful with his hands and body as he is with weapons…You will have a great discovery during this film, which I think is great…[My costumes] look great. Some of them were (no pun intended) cumbersome and heavy, but some were very snug; you can almost see what religion I am…”

J.J. Abrams said the following about Benedict Cumberbatch’s villainous character, “[Nero] was just a raging, vengeful lunatic. All he wanted to do was destroy Vulcan, Earth and the Federation…He had backstory but was kind of irrational. The beauty of Benedict’s [John Harrison] is that he’s completely rational. He’s someone that you can have conversations with. You couldn’t sit down and talk to Nero – he’d bite your head off!”

‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ is directed by J.J. Abrams with a script by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof. Abrams is producing with Bryan Burk through Bad Robot Productions, along with Lindelof, Kurtzman and Orci. Chris Pine (James T. Kirk), John Cho (Sulu), Bruce Greenwood (Christopher Pike), Simon Pegg (Scotty), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Zoe Saldana (Uhura), Karl Urban (Bones) and Anton Yelchin (Pavel Chekov) reprise their roles from the 2009 ‘Star Trek’ original, with new parts for Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, Noel Clarke and Peter Weller.

It was recently announced that ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ will now open in the UK on May 9th, while the May 17th date in the US appears to be locked in. The May 9th opening date will see the film in IMAX 3D, 3D and 2D theaters. ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ will arrive in US IMAX theaters from May 15th. The official synopsis for ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ can be read below.

In Summer 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes “Star Trek Into Darkness.” When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.

With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

Besides the briefest of glimpses of his Smaug the Dragon in ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,’ Benedict Cumberbatch can next be seen on the big screen in ‘Star Trek into Darkness,’ alongside the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Kenneth Williams, Ruth Negga, Brad Pitt, Quvenzhané Wallis and Adepero Oduye in Steve McQueen’s ‘Twelve Years a Slave,’ and as Julian Assange in ‘The Fifth Estate.’ Steve Moffat, the co-conceiver, producer and screenwriter of BBC’s ‘Sherlock,’ recently revealed that the third ‘Sherlock’ series would begin production shortly, reuniting Cumberbatch as the eponymous Sherlock Holmes with his fellow ‘The Hobbit’ star, Martin Freeman, as Dr. John Watson. The actor is also said to be in negotiations to play the English mathematician Alan Turing in ‘The Imitation Game.’