Here's an interesting development in the "Who The Hell Is Benedict Cumberbatch Playing" mystery surrounding Star Trek Into Darkness: a new still from Paramount identifies his character as John Harrison.
There is, to the best of my knowledge, no canon John Harrison in the Star Trek universe. It's been stated that Cumberbatch is playing a canon character. So what the hell?
My two thoughts:
1) The caption is a lie. I mean, he may be calling himself 'John Harrison,' but that's not who he really is. That's a name he's using for most of the film before a big reveal as to who he actually is.
2) He's Harrison, a minor recurring crew member from the original series who bounced around from assigment to assignment, variously being in a red security shirt, a technician in sickbay and a gold shirted member of the bridge crew. He's not really a character, so much as he's a background actor who keeps popping up. He's technically canon, though, and his name is certainly mentioned in the show.
I've had a number of sources tell me that Cumberbatch is Khan. I could be getting played - JJ Abrams' mystery box system involves disinformation. The IMAX prologue that played for journalists yesterday hints at Khan - Giacchino's score quotes Khan's theme, and Spock drops the 'The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one' line - but I guess it could all be a big game. A weird game, but a big game nonetheless.
My gut instinct is that the answer is #1. John Harrison is the name Cumberbatch's character is using. He reveals his true identity later, probably when he reveals that he wanted to get captured by the heroes (a la Avengers, Skyfall, etc - it's an old plot device, but it's been getting a lot of use lately).
A sidenote: John Harrison Suratt was one of the conspirators who was involved in the plot to kill Abraham Lincoln. His mother, Mary Surratt, was hung for her role. Surratt himself escaped the country and returned later, after the statute of limitations expired. Could this fake name be taken in reference to this historical figure? Screenwriter Roberto Orci is a HUGE conspiracy nut, so it makes some sense.
Chatter away below: