JJ Abrams on why he tried to keep Khans identity secret in Star Trek into Darkness

JJ Abrams is currently busy promoting Star Wars: The Force Awakens (read our review here), but that hasn't stopped people asking about Star Trek into Darkness; the film the director worked on prior to switching 'Star' franchises. Abrams recently admitted the sequel had "fundamental story problems", and in a new interview with Buzzfeed he went into more detail on why it "didn’t work as well as it could have".

"Any movie, any story has a fundamental conversation happening during it. There’s a fundamental argument; there’s a central question. And I didn’t have it," he said. "While I agree with Damon Lindelof that withholding the Khan thing ended up seeming like we were lying to people, I was trying to preserve the fun for the audience, and not just tell them something that the characters don’t learn for 45 minutes into the movie."

"I felt like, in a weird way, it was a little bit of a collection of scenes that were written by my friends - brilliantly talented writers - who I somehow misled in trying to do certain things," Abrams continued. "And yet, I found myself frustrated by my choices, and unable to hang my hat on an undeniable thread of the main story. So then I found myself on that movie basically tap-dancing as well as I could to try and make the sequences as entertaining as possible."

Even though the approach to Khan didn't work out too well, Benedict Cumberbatch's performance was still excellent and there were a lot of things that worked well in Into Darkness. It's certainly admirable for Abrams to take responsibility here though, and if The Force Awakens is any indication he's learnt from his mistakes.

Directed by Justin Lin and starring Idris Elba, Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana, Star Trek Beyond warps into UK and US cinemas on July 22, 2016.

Images: Paramount

Amon Warmann

Amon is a contributing editor and columnist for Empire magazine, but is also a Film and TV writer for GamesRadar+, Total Film, and others. He has also written for NME, Composer Mag, and more, along with being a film critic for TalkSport. He is also the co-host of the Fade to Black Podcast, and a video mashup creator. Can also do a pretty good Bane impersonation.