At a special IMAX presentation of the footage in London, Cumberbatch's menacing character John Harrison was introduced at the beginning of the much-anticipated “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
The sequel kicks off at a fast pace, with Capt. Kirk's trademark quips, a volcano erupting and Spock in grave danger.
Cumberbatch was not allowed to reveal much about the plot, but the 36-year-old did admit that he auditioned for the role of Harrison — who he describes as “a phenomenal one-man weapon of mass destruction” — on an iPhone in his friend's kitchen.
Fans wanting to see the footage can catch it in front of selected IMAX 3D screenings of “The Hobbit,” which opened Friday.
“Star Trek Into Darkness,” directed by J.J. Abrams, opens next May.
The Associated Press spoke to Cumberbatch, star of the TV movie "Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia," after Friday's presentation.
AP: “How did it feel coming here and seeing your face so big on that screen?”
Cumberbatch: “I always get incredibly nervous, especially on an empty stomach having only had a macchiato. It makes your heart beat a lot faster, and I don't like it. I look away when it's me. ”
AP: “It's obviously in the great tradition of having an English baddie.”
Cumberbatch: “I'm following in the very hallowed footsteps of (Jeremy) Irons, (Alan) Rickman and Tom Hiddleston, my great friend in this summer's “Avengers.” It's hugely flattering, but you're not going to see me do a whole raft of villains after this.”
AP: “Congratulations on the Golden Globe nomination (best actor in a miniseries for “Sherlock”). Did you celebrate?”
Cumberbatch: “I went out with my niece, Emily, who is my PA (personal assistant), and we got papped (followed by paparazzi) to the point that I couldn't actually see and I had to put my head down and just blink a couple of times. ”AP: “Surely it's only going to get worse after this “Star Trek” film?”
Cumberbatch: “I hope not. I don't court it. Of course, promoting a film you're out in the public, and I'm proud to do that for the work I've done. But I'm quite a private person at heart.”