After recently committing to directing Star Trek 2, J. J. Abrams has apparently found his villain. Benicio Del Toro has been chosen as the antagonist to the sequel of Abrams’ 2009 smash hit. Although most of the original cast is returning, the villain had yet to be chosen by Abrams. Though the deal hasn’t been inked yet, sources say Del Toro should be signed by the end of the weekend. Del Toro himself has previously met with Abrams to discuss his involvement but remains in the dark as to the role for secrecy’s sake.
Del Toro is a fantastic choice for a villain and can next be seen in Oliver Stone’s Savages as the antagonistic leader of a Mexican drug cartel. Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof will return to pen Star Trek 2’s script. The project also stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, Karl Urban and John Cho. Production is scheduled to start in early 2012, but no release date has been announced. Hit the jump for more. [Clarification: Del Toro is likely to be offered the role , and we believe it’s a fair assumption that he’ll take it.]
News of Del Toro’s imminent casting in Star Trek 2 comes via Variety. While there’s no word yet on exactly which villain he’ll be portraying, there may be some hints out there. Perhaps some details can be found in the new line of comics? Whatever the role, I’m curious to see how Del Toro plays it. He’s usually kind of a smarmy gambler/gangster type and I don’t quite know how that will fit into the canon of Star Trek. What are your thoughts on Del Toro’s casting? Do you think he’ll play a villain from the original series or a totally new character? Sound off in the comments section.