Star Trek fans have big questions weighing on their minds right now. Some concern this summer's Star Trek Into Darkness - namely, what's the real identity of the film's central antagonist John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) - while others involve the future, as J.J. Abrams is only producing the next installment so to allow him to focus on directing Star Wars: Episode VII instead.
Answers are coming, but won't be arriving for a while now. In the meantime, we have newly-released magazine covers and images from the rebooted Trek sequel, in addition to thoughts from the cast and crew about what to expect from one of the most anticipated films of the year (and the "nerve-wracking" experience of putting the followup together).
Star Trek Into Darkness follows Enterprise Captain James Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew on a dangerous manhunt in order to capture a "one man weapon of mass destruction" (Cumberbatch) responsible for wreaking havoc on Starfleet and Earth; not to mention, causing the mayhem glimpsed throughout marketing footage.
Co-writer Alex Kurtzman describes Harrison to EW as a "member of Starfleet who turns on Starfleet"; though, judging by evidence that suggests he joins forces with certain classic Trek baddies - and images that point to the character using the increasingly-popular "Getting caught as part of the plan" trick - it seems that Harrison may well be a wronged man who's turned to insanity and vengeance (a la Loki in The Avengers and Silva in Skyfall).
Case in point: check out Harrison being escorted by Starfleet personnel like-a-Loki, in addition to other new stills and behind the scenes photos from Star Trek Into Darkness (plus, EW's new Trek edition covers):
In addition, here's what Pine told EW about the process of working with Abrams, Kurtzman and co-producers/screenwriters Roberto Orci (Fringe) and Damon Lindelof (Lost):
''The exciting thing is there's a possibility for change at any moment. Because of [the producers'] background in TV, there's a possibility of changing story, dialogue, character points, action beats — these are all up for review at all times. Nothing is sacrosanct, no one is safe. You have to walk in and be really nimble.''
Abrams likewise chimed in about the different filmmaking experience:
"I would say all of the actors, uh, have more opinions this time. [Laughs] The first time they were all kind of trusting of me and of the process. They hadn't proven to themselves that they could play these characters. Now they've been these characters, and they’ve been told — by me and by many others — that they are loved as these characters. So they came to the table with attitudes and opinions that in most cases were entirely valid and hugely important. And all of them are crazy-smart.''
For more, pick up the latest edition of Entertainment Weekly.
Star Trek Into Darkness stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, Karl Urban, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, Alice Eve, Peter Weller, Nazneen Contractor, Noel Clarke and Joseph Gatt.
Look for Star Trek Into Darkness in theaters (2D, 3D and IMAX 3D) on May 17th, 2013.