Benedict Cumberbatch's Mystery 'Star Trek 2' Villain Finally Revealed?
Though "Sherlock Holmes" star Benedict Cumberbatch has been known to have a villainous role in the forthcoming Star Trek sequel in J.J. Abrams rebooted sci-fi franchise, the specifics of his character have been kept under tight wraps. Though rumors circulated early on that the villain would be the iconic Eugenics War leader Khan Noonien Singh (originally played by Ricardo Montalban) from the original series who later went on to be the most praised villain in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, that fact became unclear after Benicio del Toro fell out of the role. Now we have confirmation of who the actual villain will be.
TrekMovie and AICN are both saying Cumberbatch will indeed play Khan in Star Trek 2, and while we would normally run this as a rumor given the uncertainty of this claim in the past, our own sources have also heard the same for months now. Apparently there's also word that Klingons will also be involved in some capacity, but details on that bit are more scant. For those worried about Abrams taking on the iconic villain, I wouldn't be worried at all. This is the same path Christopher Nolan took with The Dark Knight by making The Joker his prime villain in the film, and there was plenty of concern at that point. While the love for Abrams' franchise reboot may not be as revered as Nolan's Caped Crusader franchise, I trust him and the crew at Bad Robot implicitly to do this right.
Honestly, as someone who only recently ventured through the entire series run of the Star Trek films, I found Khan to not be all that impressive of a villain, despite clearly being the best in the series. Why? Well, the only attachment to the villain comes from an old episode of "Star Trek" called Space Seed, and it's said that this film will not simply rehash that plot for the story. There was really no solid connection to the villain to make him all that threatening or menacing to the solidarity of the crew of the Enterprise for those who hadn't watched the TV series. In this case, there's plenty of audiences unfamiliar with the rich history and since Abrams had great references for Trekkies and newbies alike venturing into 2009's Star Trek, I can only assume they're taking painstaking care with a villain so loved as Khan so as to please the most hardcore and casual fans alike. It might be a safe, obvious choice, but let's wait until we see a trailer before getting bent out of shape.
Also, as a bit of an extra detail, TrekMovie also learned that Leonard Nimoy has been coaxed out of retirement for some sort of appearance in the sequel as Spock Prime. It sounds like they're anxious to keep the connection to the original Star Trek timeline alive and keep fans who might be skeptical of the new franchise interested by having a classic character and actor stick around. I'm doubting he will have as prominent a role as his part in the 2009 film, but we'll have to wait and see. Some low quality set photos have been found elsewhere online, but we'll wait for the first official look at the film instead. Thoughts?