Benedict Cumberbatch Lands Villain Role in STAR TREK Sequel [UPDATED]

     January 4, 2012


Star Trek 2 has a villain once more. After Benicio Del Toro surprisingly passed on the villain role in J.J. Abrams’ highly anticipated sci-fi follow-up, Edgar Ramirez and Jordi Mollà were reportedly under consideration. Now British actor Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock) has been cast in the part. The actor has been having a stellar year, as he appeared in Steven Spileberg’s War Horse and was one of the best parts of the espionage thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He’s set to play Smaug (via motion-capture) in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, and now he’s poised for Star Trek greatness. Hit the jump for more including an update.

benedict-cumberbatch-imageDeadline’s story doesn’t specify which role Cumberbatch has signed on for, but Variety’s Jeff Sneider confirms that the actor won the villain role that Ramirez had auditioned for. Rumors have been swirling for a while that Abrams and Co. had settled on Khan as the villain in their follow-up, and the casting of Del Toro and subsequent contenders Ramirez and Mollà added fuel to the fire (Hispanic actor Ricardo Montalban originated the role).

The casting of Cumberbatch is definitely a curveball, but I’m over the moon about the choice. He’s incredible as Sherlock Holmes on the BBC series Sherlock, and he has the ability to bring dramatic weight to even relatively minor roles in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and War Horse. He’s a splendid pick and I can’t wait to see him at work in the Star Trek universe. Cumberbatch’s casting comes at the last minute, as production on the Star Trek sequel is set to begin on the 15th of this month. Damon Lindelof, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman wrote the screenplay and Cumberbatch joins other newcomers Alice Eve, Peter Weller, and Noel Clarke in the pic. Star Trek 2 opens in 3D on May 17th, 2013.

UPDATE: Steve here. Christina got to participate in an interview with Cumberbatch today at the TCA’s and he gave a breif comment on getting cast in the Star Trek sequel.  Click here to read it.

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  • jack

    fantastic actor….love sherlock

  • Heather

    Season 2 of Sherlock just aired in England; it’s even better than Season 1, and yes, Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes is better than he was as well. Marvelous actor. Also his performance in Tinker Tailor as Peter Guillam is as award worthy as Oldman’s.

    • That Moriarty Bloke

      Only the first episode of Season 2 of Sherlock has aired so far over here but yeah, it was brilliant. Hound of the Baskervilles this week, perfect winter viewing!

      Great bit of casting whoever he ends up playing. Personally I could see him making a great Vulcan. The arrogant intellectual coldness he brings to Sherlock would work well with a pair of pointy ears (although I’m glad that Holmes gets to be a little bit more human in the opening episode of Season 2.)

      Can’t wait to see Watson and Holmes square off as Bilbo and Smaug in The Hobbit either.

  • Liam_H

    So excited to see him be a villain.

  • Teddyb20

    Amazing choice..Not a superstar, but eventually will be, making this the best time to get an actor of his caliber into what will be surely be a huge role. JJ and Co. kudos.

  • Bobmann

    This film just moved from Anticipated to Highly Anticipated.

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  • geoff

    nerd boner!!!!!1

  • Strong Enough

    Eh…another minority outta a job. f*ckin white people.

    nah i kid lmao

  • jedimon

    Its probably horsemeat if its from France

    • jedimon

      crap….wrong story for that comment

      I love Benedict’s eyes. He is FANTASTIC as Sherlock. But too skinny

  • ShinobiJedi

    This casting choice makes me suddenly doubt that the villain is Khan. He simply does not have the look or the hispanic…ness?

    Maybe he was cast as Charlie X! Lolz.

    • Joseph

      They have said that TOS fans will be pleased and that Khan is not the villain so I tend to agree with you. I’m wondering how Peter Weller is tying into all of this now too.

  • honestiago


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  • Matt

    This is the answer to the question of “How do you make Star Trek 2 more awesome than the original?”

  • cobby

    The best choice was del toro , but i am happy for benedict , he is 2nd best after del toro

  • china

    So excited for him. I could cry. I adore him.

  • Lorna

    Thrilled for him. He’ll be brilliant. I hope this will lead to the lead role as Doctor Strange.

  • Orianna

    He will be A list very soon. There is no role the actor cant play. Probably the best actor in the world right now.

  • Joanne

    I hope he gets to play Trelane. He’d be amazing in that role.

    • Jujubee

      OMG, Joanne, i had forgotten completely about Trelane but Benedict would be absolutely perfect for that role! Polite aristocrat, snarky, and completely insane.

      BTW, Collider owes me a new keyboard. I’m sitting here drinking my morning coffee and I see this article and just stare in amazement at the headline, with a mouthful of coffee, and forget I’m even drinking it until it starts to burn my mouth. Thus, me spewing that and a whole lot of profanity all over my keyboard.
      And my keyboard is ruined and this is being posted using my laptop.
      But I couldn’t be happier. Benedict in Star Trek completely makes up for the loss of my keyboard.

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  • Matt


    Great choice. Love him on Sherlock, cannot wait for series 2. Still need to see Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. He was also very good in his smaller role in Atonement.

    Hopefully he will be used better than Eric Bana.

  • zootcatchy

    I’m gonna watch him in every movie

  • JLC

    It’s almost too bad that this guy’s star is rising so rapidly. He would have made a terrific Dr. Who (of course, his Sherlock interpretation is pretty close to the Doctor, so we can always speculate).

  • I cry u smile

    Awesome i loved him in tainker, tailor, soldier, spy!

  • Luckystrike

    Maybe the villian still is Khan. All he needs is a nice tan and a spanish/latino accent.

    Another option was JJ did this all as a ruse to make ST geeks think that Khan is the villian…when all a long he never was.

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  • kemo

    Should’nt Khan be potrayed by an Indian actor?

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  • Jenn

    Brilliant actor. Loved Sherlock. Can’t wait to see Tinker, Tailor, Oldman, Cumberbatch & Firth, what a manfest!

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