"The truth is I think it probably would have been smarter just to say upfront 'This is who it is.' It was only trying to preserve the fun of it, and it might have given more time to acclimate and accept that’s what the thing was," Abrams said. "The truth is because it was so important to the studio that we not angle this thing for existing fans. If we said it was Khan, it would feel like you’ve really got to know what ‘Star Trek’ is about to see this movie. That would have been limiting. I can understand their argument to try to keep that quiet, but I do wonder if it would have seemed a little bit less like an attempt at deception if we had just come out with it."
I bolded what i think is the important text of this quote.
I'm not surprised by Paramount snubbing existing fans but was it really smart to not hype up Trek's most iconic villain? I mean it's not like we're expecting non-fans to watch 2 dozen episodes to understand Khan's character or history.
I don't see anything in Abrams' comments to indicate Paramount was "snubbing" any existing fans. Rather, the obvious read (obvious, if you don't have an anti-Abrams agenda, I suppose, or if you just learned how to use context clues in elementary school) would be that Paramount didn't want to promote the film as something that (in their estimation) only
fans with a vested interest in Star Trek would be able to enjoy.
Announcing that Khan was the villain in the film would have proclaimed precisely that and anyone who had ever heard of Star Trek or had a passing familiarity with it would know 'Eh, more of the same stuff, why should I go see it?' ---at least, that was the logic Paramount, not Abrams, used to guide their promotion of the film.
Which still doesn't invalidate the usual approach in the Abrams camp of trying to have surprises in their films for the audience. Every single last one of JJ Abrams' projects has made that attempt, to varying degrees of success. It's just Star Trek fans, it seems, who have the hardest time trying to deal with it. Sigh.
So instead, Paramount chose to angle their promotion of the film omitting that little tidbit. There's nothing wrong with that. It makes pefect sense that Paramount would want as many butts in the theaters and as many eyeballs on those screens because means the picture is selling tickets. Why this is such a complex issue to comprehend is beyond me.
The thing every last person on this godforsaken message board needs to have reminded to them is that this is a tiny community of fandom. A small pond of fans in a ginormous ocean of moviegoers. What we want, what we care about doesn't mean jack shit. To assume, nay expect otherwise is foolish.