In a new interview with the 3 Black Geeks podcast, Kelvin Timeline actor Jason Matthew Smith – aka Lt. “Cupcake” Hendorff in Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness – revealed that his character was supposed to die in the 2013 film, but that his death was cut before final release – allowing the security officer to return for STAR TREK BEYOND.

Here’s the thing about [the Qo’noS mission in “Star Trek Into Darkness”]: the actual footage of me [in the final] film is so brief, it’s right when Kirk comes in – and then you really don’t see me after that.

When I went to go see the premiere with my wife, it was a cast and crew screening, my wife had already known I was gonna die. So I went into the theater, and I had shot all of this footage – I shot for three months! When my scene was coming up, and I didn’t die, I kind of let out a verbal “I’m alive!”

Hendorff was last spotted in the back of the confiscated “Mudd incident” shuttle at Qo’noS.

Then I was like, well, maybe thay saved it for the deleted scenes – so I had to wait for the DVD to come out and see, and it wasn’t [included]… and then I heard they were coming out with the third film.

Nobody was calling me, and I heard Simon Pegg was coming on board as a writer. I had Simon’s email from the first movie, and I had never written him in eight years, so I decided to send him a quick email.

He emailed me right back, and said, “We’ve got something for you in this new film, and we’d love to see you up in Vancouver. We gotta keep the band together.”

I was blown away, and I was very appreciative, and very fortunate to do three. I still can’t believe I’ve done three Star Trek films.

In the Into Darkness novelization, Hendorff is killed by a bat’leth during the mission – and this confirms that sequence was actually shot on set.

As we saw in one of X-Box Live deleted scenes that didn’t make it to the Into Darkness Blu-ray release, Hendorff’s partner (played by Ser’Darius Blainwas killed during the Kronos mission, gunned down by a Klingon soldier in front of Kirk’s eyes.

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UPDATE: Despite his return for filming, Smith’s scenes were all cut from the theatrical presentation of STAR TREK BEYOND.

Smith’s Hendorff returned to the Enterprise for the third movie in the rebooted Star Trek series, “Star Trek Beyond,” which opened this week. And again he was supposed to die. But — spoiler alert — Hendorff lives to see another day, although that was a surprise to Smith.

“I went to the premiere, and all of my scenes were cut out,” Smith said Friday at San Diego Comic-Con. “I was supposed to die at the hands of (Idris Elba’s) Krall in the third one. So this is two movies in a row.”

Producer J.J. Abrams told Smith that, once again, Hendorff had been spared from death because of tweaks to the story during the editing process and said that the red shirt would return for an almost unheard-of fourth time in the next sequel.

Guess we’ll look for Hendorff in STAR TREK 4.

  • Martin Spence

    Maybe he should be promoted to succeed Ensign Chekov. Y’know…. REALLY make this reality different. While Chekov was great and yes, we’ll miss him…. Ensign Cupcake since he’s still alive should succeed him.

    Replacing Anton Yelchin as Chekov shouldn’t happen…. his charecter should be …. retired quietly. its respectful of the actors passing and the effect on the community.


    • Biotrek

      I was thinking that maybe Jaylah could replace him.

      • The Chadwick

        Love that idea! I just hope Jaylah does not become Carol Marcus, just completely disappear. Carol welcomed to the Enterprise, “family” “nice to have one” blah blah. Jaylah admitted into Starfleet Academy..let hope this character sticks. Social media, twitter, facebook, spread the hype for Jaylah. Make her trend!

    • cinna

      no i dont think they should get rid of the chekov. character. i loved the way anton played the character but he was an actor… the original checkov is still alive so if you retired his character just for anton that is kind of disrespecting the man who originally played chekov. do you think anton yelchin is more important to star trek than Walter Koenig?

      • Aaron

        When it comes to the Kelvin Timeline, I absolutely think the Chekov character should be retired in respect of the memory of Anton Yelchin. This in no way disrespects Walter Koenig, who brought his character alive wonderfully in the Prime Timeline. In addition, I don’t think anyone is suggesting Yelchin is more important to Star Trek than Koenig – but Yelchin died a tragic death, that needs to be respected.

        • cinna

          we respect and love anton but what does that have to do with the character of chekov going on. should all the movies hes played in not have sequels? unfortunately many people die and they die tragically or from disease but that shouldn’t have anything to do with a character he did NOT create. and i do feel it would be disrespecting walter. he played that character for years and anton was new. if anton had spent 20yrs playing the character then i could see your argument.

          • Aaron

            Again I’m not suggesting that his character be permanently retired, just the character Yelchin created for the Kelvin timeline.

          • cinna

            what character did yelchin create? if anyone created the character of chekov it was Walter and is disrespectful to say he didn’t. but to be real…the character was created by gene! the writers of the star trek reboot simply wrote a script that changed the story-line of a character that ALREADY existed. the only time i would entertain retiring a character is if the person has played that character for decades. I think people are just distraught over antons death, it still hurts so it makes sense that some are responding the way they are. an actor gets hired to play a character a few times, it wouldn’t make sense to keep getting rid of characters because of things that occurred in their personal life. anton wasn’t just chekov, he made many movies and should be honored as a great actor and not just chekov.

          • Aaron

            Let me pose a hypothetical to you. Initially, Christopher Nolan wanted to have the Joker play some role in the Dark Knight Rises. After Heath Ledgers death, however, Nolan chose not recast the Joker and simply not have him in the 3rd film. Obviously Heath Ledger was not the first Joker. Thus, should Nolan not have retired the Joker character in his Batman universe? Should Nolan have simply recast the Joker?

          • cinna

            the chances were slim tat the joker would be in the next movie anyways. lol. typical batman movies usually will jump to the next villain. so i wasnt surprised at al when they said they were going to pick another actor to play the joker. the joker was never gonna be in the next movie smh 10 years form now when someone wants to reboot the batman series again im 10% sure they wont be saying the joker is of limits because of an actor who played him 20yrs ago. so let me ask you a question do you think the batman series should kill-off the joker character never to be used in a movie or comic again? if you say yes, im done because that would make no sense and would not be realistic. Christopher reeve is dead and he was superman, did they get a new superman or retire or kill him off? no they hired another man to play in the movies.

          • Just a guest

            Actually Nolan flat out said that the third film would have had the Joker if Ledger had not died, he had to completely scrap his planned story, which is the major reason why Dark Knight Rises is the weakest of the Nolan films.

            As for Chekov, it has already been stated that the character will not be recast, but how he will be written out is not yet decided.

          • cinna

            actually there was no script written regarding the next batman film and nolan wasn’t sure if he was coming back (this was said prior to heath passing so there was NO plans for the joker to be in the next film). with that said he left the joker alive because they wanted to maybe bring him back during the 3rd instalment which was NOT the movies after he played the joker. they wanted to leave the door open in case they wanted to bring heath back which was a possibility in future batman films. here is hte link explaining it
            *** jared leto will be playing the new joker in suicide squad. i’m excited to see his version.
            what i’ve been saying regarding chekov. i have no issue with them coming up with a reason for him not to be in the film, they need some creative writing here. i hope they don’t go the lazy route and just say “oh checkov died on the last mission”. it’s like do him right. even though some people wanted that, i was against them doing that..hence retiring the character which i dont agree with. but im all for coming up with a great story line for the character that would explain his absence. another thing they could do that would be awesome is to do a hologram of checkov and then have the character go out being a hero and it ends with us not really knowing where chekov is but just knowing he’s out there somewhere. that would be awesome. i just didn’t want them to be lazy like they use to be on soap operas showing his escape pod crashing or something lame like that. im like you have the writing skills and you have the technology, lets see you do something awesome. and this leaves the door open for 10yrs for now if they ever wanted to use the chekov character again.

          • Rass

            “the chances were slim tat the joker would be in the next movie anyways.”

            That’s not true. The Joker’s role in the third film was what ended up being Scarecrow’s role.

          • cinna

            read the link i posted and stop just giving your opinion. i believe the people who were actually involved in the process of making the movies than someone online just giving their opinion.

          • daGiez

            They (JJ) already said he is not being re-cast…

          • cinna

            not asking them to re-cast anton. i just hope the writers really do a great job of writing something special for the chekov character …the reason why he is not there or hopefully using technology to create an image of him using some type of hologram and then have a cool storyline. i’m just against them being lazy with it and just saying “oh chekov died on an away mission last month. smh. we live in a time where there are so many possibilities of doing something really great with the storyline other than “he died” or “retired” etc it could end with us and the crew not knowing where chekov (anton) is. could be held captive somewhere or not. “the search for chekov…”

      • Bart Blommaert

        Koenig got replaced in TAS though.

      • Kurtis Bell

        replace Chekov….send him off to Excelsior …..replace him with a hot Rand

      • Rass

        New rule: Those who can’t spell the names of the main characters shouldn’t post.

        • cinna

          who couldnt spell chekov??? that is the way i spelled it and that is the way it’s spelled on the series.

    • Darren McAdams

      I don’t think sorry burst your thinking but i think they should follow the animated series James dohan the original checkove from tos was not included in TAS i say they should have an alien take over checkove spot just to spice things up a bit a cgi alien

  • That’s great! I love running jokes and winks!

  • A red shirt with 3 (or more) lives.

  • Chris Tyler

    Just one more reason to see Beyond!!

  • DS9 is King

    This is great I can’t wait to see Lt Cupcake again.

  • madmadia85

    It’s great. In the comics they fleshed out his character a bit more. For example, they explained his reaction to Kirk in the bar scene by saying that Uhura was one of his long time friends from the academy

    • boydmerriman

      In the bar scene, he earned his “Star Trek” respect by his acting and character representation, and we just couldn’t help but start calling him “cupcake” after Kirk put it back on him again later. He automatically earned his place as a recurring character.
      What disappointed me was the lack of the Irish character Finnegan that was supposedly Kirks nemesis in his TOS academy years. But that was because JJ never looked back and took the canon very seriously as the current writers and directors are in this movie. But for Finnegan, it was too late to back track just to stick him in. Had Finnegan been in the bar scene, it would have made more sense, especially to show his eagerness to find a reason to fight from the start.

      • Just a guest

        No, Kirk joined the Academy at a later age and Finnegan was no longer there. In the comics it shows Kirk and Gary Mitchell as classmates, rather than Kirk being a graduated Lt. teaching a class.

      • Rass

        You DO realize the reason Finnegan wasn’t there was that he was already out of the Academy by the time Kirk went there in the new timeline… right? So there’s no need to get histrionic.

  • I guess that means Cupcake will bite it in Beyond?

  • Gary

    Wish they would have brought back Joe Gatt as Science Officer 0718

    • Just a guest

      Gatt did get to reprise 0718 in vo for Star Trek Online, a recently added mission called Terminal Expanse allows players to travel to the Kelvin Timeline and help 0718 save the USS Yorktown.

  • Hey berto

    Proof that just saying something is ‘canon’ doesn’t make it true. Unless it’s shown on screen, it’s not canon.

    • MJ

      Yep, that is the definition of Trek canon, moronic pronouncements of alternate definitions of canon by a few fans excepted, of course.

      • Hey berto

        There’s this whole thing about some of the comics being canon, and probably some other extraneous material outside the movies as well.. but that was something Orci said. Orc is out of the picture now, and I doubt any new writers on the films are going to go check the comics and make sure they don’t violate anything. .. so even when someone says something outside the movies is canon, I don’t believe it unless it’s actually incorporated into one of the films.

  • DamienL

    This is hilarious! Can’t wait for the deleted scene!

  • Thomas Elkins

    I was actually happy when they cut out his death scene in Into Darkness because I think he should live and be part of the crew. I remember walking out of Beyond yesterday and wondering where he was, so I’m glad they cut his scenes out again because they intended to kill him again. Stop killing him! Make him a full time member of the crew lol.

    I see from a few weeks ago it was mentioned that he should replace Chekov. That could potentially work, but I think Chekov should be replaced with Arex. It’s brilliant because he already replaced an absent Chekov in TAS. Have Chekov recieve a transfer somewhere, perhaps the USS Reliant, and then bring in Arex for that TAS reference. Their movie budget should be able to bring him to life nicely.

    • Brian Thorn

      I vote for Lt. RIley.

    • Mrplatitude

      Maybe Cupcake could be the security chief.

  • Mrplatitude

    Its too bad he at least still isn’t seen in the background of any shots in the final cut of Beyond.

    Hopefully in the next film he will not only have some scenes but also not die.

  • The Redshirt Who Lived.

  • Zarm

    Except they’ll just cut him out of the fourth one. 🙂

  • Geoffrey Pritzlaff

    Lt. “Cupcake” Hendorff: The red shirt who never dies.

  • MJ

    “Hendorff’s partner (played by ) was killed during the Kronos mission”

    So if I am reading this correctly, Hendorff could have been the first gay crew member in Trek history if they hadn’t cut this scene out of STID, right?

  • Fctiger

    LMAO, this is basically these movies version of “Guy” from Galaxy Quest. YOU guys know who I’m talking about. The guy who no one knows his real name (the title of this article called him Cupcake for God sakes lol), shows up for a few seconds and gets killed off right away…or thats the idea. 😉

    Maybe in Star Trek 4, he’ll get a real role with his full name as Lt. Commander Nathaniel “Cupcake” Hendorff Jr. ;D