It is amazing to me that we are this close to the release of "Star Trek Into Darkness" and no one has been able to confirm the identity of the bad guy in the film so far.

There was a period of time where everyone was absolutely sure that Khan was going to be the villain again, and even when I got JJ Abrams to state on the record that he was not going to be the bad guy, people insisted that they were sure.  Benedict Cumberbatch, best known right now for his outstanding work in the BBC's "Sherlock," was eventually cast as the film's antagonist, which would seem like very strange casting for Khan.

We're about to start finally getting concrete information about the film, and I am eager to see the nine-minute opening sequence that will be screening in front of "The Hobbit" at every IMAX screening when the film opens next month.  I would imagine that opening will clearly establish the tone of the new film and give us some idea of where things are going to head in terms of story.

For now, though, the best information we've gotten comes in the form of the film's official synopsis, released by Paramount:

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.

The tease is still in full effect there, and it raises possibilities about who Cumberbatch is playing.  He could be Gary Mitchell… he could be Charlie X… I suppose he could even be Khan based on that description… but appropriately enough, none of those possibilities fit that synopsis exactly.  And that's the way it should be.  After all, the timeline these stories take place in is not the same timeline that the original series was set in, so things shouldn't play out exactly the same way.  Abrams and his creative collaborators gave themselves a lot of room to navigate, and it sounds like this will build nicely from everything they did in the first film.

"Star Trek Into Darkness" arrives in theaters May 17, 2013.