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Benedict Cumberbatch's Mystery 'Star Trek 2' Villain Finally Revealed?

by
April 30, 2012
Source: TrekMovie, AICN

Star Trek / Benedict Cumberbatch

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?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Sleider/1847907840 Brian Sleider
    Inc ruined villain
    • http://www.milliondollarcuffs.org Triangle Dimes
       What?
      • OfficialJab
        *incoming* As in: "incoming cynical bullshit from people on the internet who think everything is terrible"
  • Jurassic_Max
    Possibly having Spock Prime see the villain that led to his death in Star Trek II? That could very interesting
  • Xerxexx
    Well that's good news.
  • Jericho
    i recently went a watched the movies *lost a bet really* and im glad you added that bit of TV spot there because i really didn't see the big point in him *other than his outfit made him look like he had breasts.* it will be interesting if Spok Prime ends up saving his alternate self from experiencing the same fate should the movies play close to the same......
  • Gex
    On the contrary Ethan, I think that Khan was a great villian.  As one who has watched the prequel episode plus the movie (though I saw the movie before the episode),  I thought the movie did well on its own without one having any knowledge of Space Seed.  The viewer is given backstory on Khan when watching the movie, and Khan delivers it in a good way that draws the viewer's attention.  You can feel his pain and hatred from what he and his people had suffered over the years, and know why he has such motivation to kill Kirk. In fact, I'd argue that Space Seed takes a bit away from the movie, and vice versa.  In the episode, it leaves on a note of wondering what kind of society Khan can establish, while the movie tosses all of that aside for a "revenge of the exiled" storyline.  Plus, I fealt the viewer was better off not knowing exactly who Khan's wife ended up being.  I mean, after watching the Space Seed episode and figuring out who she ended up being, I was disappointed, mainly because I didn't see the chemistry, not even inklings of it, especially on Khan's part.  I didn't see any of the emotion conveyed by Khan in the movie towards his wife, by the Khan in the episode who didn't seem to care for her outside of using her for his own means.  The fact that the movie delivered that message well enough on it's own goes to show the Ricardo was perfect in the role, giving the best performance possible out of that character. The movie was more like a reboot of the episode's history, and an improved reboot IMHO.  The only thing the episode added to the movie was demonstrating how quickly Khan can learn and adapt to the present state of things in a world he is completely unfamiliar with, just by reading a few books and manuals.  That explains clearly why he was able to be such a threat to the Enterprise.  But again, that's implied in the movie when we're told how he tried to capture the Enterprise. Regardless, what the movie loses in character history it gains in characterization, which is a fair trade.
    • Max Renn
      Ethan has his opinion, but The Wrath of Khan is a great movie, still the best in the franchise, and it has a GREAT SCRIPT. It stood on its own without knowledge of 'Space Seed'. I couldn't say the new Trek had a good story or script; the sequel won't be much better with the same writers.
  • Rob Keyes
    Love the Screen Rant image! ;)
  • GoBlueColin
    Why reboot if you're just going to reboot each movie.  Boring.
    • Jasonmd2020
      Well in this alternate time line J.J. Abrams set up. It wouldn't be re-doing Star Trek II, it would actually be the first meeting of Khan effectively redoing the original episode... Man. Alternate universes make my head hurt. It's why I stopped reading the X-men comics.
  • Boiler Bro Joe
    What's better than having a Mexican play a South Asian?  Why, having an Englishman play one of course!
  • Ehsan Davodi
    Very clever choise, I'm in But this villain must do something himself, In star trek1 Eric bana was good choise but poor script for play evil in that
  • SavageHawk
    WE have a new crew - at least fresh new actors playin' an old crew in a new timeline - how about new stories - PLEASE!!!!!
  • Voice of Reason
    Jesus. When are they gonna get around to saving the whales?
    • http://www.facebook.com/adam.j.sinclair Adam Jason Sinclair
      Simon Pegg recently commented on Twitter about that. If the movies stay true to the original format, it will eitgher be in episode 3 or 4. I'm assuming 3, since I doubt they'd kill Spock again! :P
    • Slamo
      Great post. I almost spit out my coffee when I read that one!
  • http://engadgetsucks.wordpress.com/ Don't Really Care
    I hope this is just rumor and ends up being not true.  Its not that I wouldn't like to see a new Khan or have issues w/ the dude playing Khan... its just I think Khan is a horrible choice for ST2. Its really NOT a reboot if you think about it, its an alternate timeline.  The whole point of making this new timeline was to allow for room to come up with new stories.  What is the point if all you're going to do is rehash something from the originals?  Then there was no need for an alternate timeline.  Instead, you just call it a remake and that's it. If it does end up being Khan, I will seriously be disappointed on so many levels.
    • http://www.milliondollarcuffs.org Triangle Dimes
      What would this be a remake of? It is a new story because, even though it takes place in an alternate timeline, it takes place in the past so there'll be a totally new perspective there anyway.
  • Gabrielle
    I agree with voice of Reason
    • Voice of Reason
       You'd be the first!
  • Candle_Wick
    At least with Cumberbatch involved there'll be some decent acting chops front and centre. Chris Pine just isn't charasmatic enough, instead playing (or being made to play) the wily tearaway type, which are ten a penny. Karl Urban, Simon Pegg and Quinto made the first at least watchable, but that was really because it was an exciting opportunity to see a 'new' Star Trek. Now that that has passed this needs to get really good. Especially with Prometheus about to throw the bar way up high.
  • http://profiles.google.com/larrythefatcat Emmitt Morgans
    It's 'Sherlock'... the name of the show is just 'Sherlock'.
  • MGR
    If it is Khan, reboot shmeeboot, Khan's past has to be consistent with the original series--in fact all events that we witnessed as in the past in the original series, happened--the alternate reality was created at the time the Rogue Romulans and Spock Prime came through the singularity--that is when the alternate reality Abrams movies are tracking was created. How Kirk and Khan interact can be completely different, but he is still a genetically engineered tyrant from the past who was put in cryogenic jail.
  • Cerender
    Well done. :-)

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