J.J. admits keeping Khan's identity a secret was a mistake

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by M.A.C.O., Dec 3, 2013.

  1. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/02/jj-abrams-star-trek-khan_n_4373240.html?utm_hp_ref=entertainment

    "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.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I really wish people would get over themselves.
     
  3. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    If anything, they should never have mentioned that Cumberbatch was playing someone we already knew. They should have just presented him as John Harrison and left it at that. I don't know if they could have kept a tight lid on the truth behind that though.
     
  4. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's the annoying thing. Hollywood thinks their audience is stupid. Maybe they are only projecting and they themselves are stupid.

    The irony is that, since Khan was a secret, people went to see Cumberbatch as John Harrison. Yes, they actually wanted to see an original villain, because you advertised the film that way, you fools! There was absolutely no financial benefit in having Khan in this.
     
  5. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    I don't see what difference it would have made had Paramount been up-front about it. We all knew it was Khan before the movie premiered.
     
  6. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    You mean, beside the constant, continuous, and continuing whining?
     
  7. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I smell bullshit. The mystery box has always been Abrams' thing, and I seriously doubt the studio wouldn't have jumped at the chance to market one of the most iconic villains in the Trek canon. Afraid that audiences would feel like they're required to watch an episode and a movie to understand what's going on? It's a reboot, it's already assuming you don't have to watch anything that came before. Pinning it on the big bad studio doesn't really fly when he's one of Hollywood's biggest producers of our time. Abrams is part of the system, has been for a very long time enough to get things his way.
     
  8. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    This. The smart thing would have been to announce when Cumberbatch was cast that he was playing John Harrison and leave it at that. But instead, they just said Cumberbatch was a villain and refused to identify his character for ten months drawing lots of attention and causing all manner of speculation, fueled by Abrams and his henchmen saying he was playing a "canon character." By the time they did reveal the John Harrison name no one was fooled and everyone assumed it had to be an alias.

    Maybe Paramount was stupid forcing Khan to be a secret, and I know I wouldn't have made that decision. However, Bad Robot handled the matter in such a piss-poor way. Remember Batman Begins had a twist regarding the identity of Liam Neeson's character that actually worked and fooled people? One thing Bad Robot excels at is copying the work of others. Was it really so hard to look at how Nolan and his folks managed to pull that off and imitate that, or would it have eaten into their time set aside for re-writing TWOK?
     
  9. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They just shouldn't have done Khan in the first place.
     
  10. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    That's certainly true. Especially since they've admitted their "creative process" was to create a new character, which they then named Khan, because Khan is "what everyone wanted."

    The irony is, I found John Harrison, renegade Starfleet officer turned terrorist more interesting than Khan.
     
  11. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    ^And here's hoping they don't retcon something else in their third film. A totally new adventure unrelated to anything from the other timeline would be nice.
     
  12. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    But let's be honest, Trek XIII will totally be about the Borg. Paramount suits probably think it's "what everyone wants."
     
  13. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What makes the story of the studio imposing the secrecy very unconvincing to me is that Khan is an iconic villain and studios LOVE brand recognition. Promoting that an iconic villain is returning to Trek builds hype among fans and it gets movie goers interested in seeing what all the fuss is about. That's why Star Trek was brought back in the first place. If he was so much of a niche Trek thing that the filmmakers were so afraid of using, they sure jumped at the chance to include him as quickly as possible.

    Really though, nothing about all this adds up, given the script process that Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof elaborated on how Khan was integrated and such. I'm sure Bad Robot was the one that actually insisted on this secrecy because the mystery box has always been their favorite toy to play with. The whole thing with "John Harrison" and the "big reveal" screams of it.

    You and me on that. My favorite part of the whole nuTrek universe so far has been the opening pre-title sequence in STID. That's the kind of Trek movie I want. Fun, breezy, adventurous, original, focused on the characters, no gimmicks. Just a straight up Trek story.

    I'm sure the guys at Bad Robot totally agree on that too. "Yeah, and the Borg cube will be the size of a solar system! Cause everything's big!"
     
  14. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    Borg + V'ger + Uhura ends up the Borg queen.
     
  15. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  16. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This is not a godforsaken message board! There is no god! There was no forsaking!

    Why you mad bro?
     
  17. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So this is how it might have played out if they announced Khan as the villain?

    Press Release: "Khan will be in the next film."
    Fans and Audiences: "Well, guess I'm not gonna bother seeing that one."

    :lol:
     
  18. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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  19. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I enjoyed my little surprise in the cinema. I'm glad they didn't reveal it.
     
  20. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    I don't have an anti-Abrams agenda. I enjoy both his Trek movies, MI3, Cloverfield, Super 8 and Fringe. I was trying to articulate (maybe snubbing wasn't the right word) that trying to keep the villain's identity a secret when it's one the fans know; was a silly idea. The Klingons were added into STID for no other reason than to be fodder for Khan to beat up. And yet Paramount had no reservations about them being put in the film or stating they would be in the film prior to it's release. How many general audience attendees do you think can even describe what a klingon is? There was no expectation for general audiences to go watch all 79 episodes of TOS, and the original 6 movies prior ST09 release. Khan is not some untranslatable villain. He's Star Trek's most iconic villain from what is still perceived as the best film in the franchise. Why not promote that?

    Take Star Wars for example. If Disney decided to revive Darth Vader for episode 7. Do you think they would keep that in their pocket till the film was released or promote the hell out the fact that Darth Vader is returning?