Benedict Cumberbatch Lands Villain Role In ‘Star Trek 2’

BBC’s ‘Sherlock’ actor also has upcoming roles in ‘The Hobbit.’
By Kevin P. Sullivan, with reporting by Josh Horowitz
Benedict Cumberbatch imagined in the role of Khan
Photo: Getty Images/ MTV News/ Paramount TV Damon Lindelof, “Lost” co-creator and one of the screenwriters behind J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek 2,” tweeted on Monday, “Something really, REALLY cool just happened. #BoldlyGo.” All signs pointed to a looming “Trek” announcement, but we didn’t find out what was setting Lindelof’s phasers to stun until two days later. Benedict Cumberbatch, the British actor most recently seen in “War Horse” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” will play the main villain in the “Star Trek” sequel. This was the role for which Abrams originally wanted Benicio Del Toro, but had Édgar Ramirez circling once Del Toro was out of the picture, Variety reported. There is still no word on what character Cumberbatch will play. When Del Toro led as the front-runner, Internet rumors suggested Khan, the legendary villain originally played by Ricardo Montalbán in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” would reappear in Abrams’ alternate “Trek” universe. In the past year, Cumberbatch has seen his stateside profile rise significantly. Known primarily in England for his widely beloved role as the modern-day reimagining of Sherlock Holmes in the BBC’s “Sherlock,” the actor starred alongside Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor” and played a minor role in Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse.” Next year, he’ll take on two key roles in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit,” doing the voice and motion capture for Smaug and presumably both for the Necromancer. Deadline’s report on the Cumberbatch casting mentioned that Abrams plans to shoot the film in 3-D, which contradicts what the director told MTV News’ Josh Horowitz on the red carpet for “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.” “We’re shooting on film, 2-D, and then we’ll do a good high-end conversion like the ‘Harry Potter’ movie and all that,” Abrams said. “Luckily, with our release date now, we have the months needed to do it right, because if you rush it, it never looks good.” Check out everything we’ve got on “Star Trek 2.” For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit

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