Benicio Del Toro Drops Out of STAR TREK 2; Villain May Be Khan After All

     December 5, 2011


Mere days after the interwebs ran rampant with speculation as to whether Benicio Del Toro would be playing Khan in J.J. Abrams’ sequel 2009’s Star Trek, the actor has dropped out of the film altogether. The actor entered negotiations to play the film’s villain earlier this month, followed by rumors that he would be taking on the role of Khan in the sci-fi follow up. Hit the jump for more, including more fuel for the Khan rumor mill.

star-trek-khan-ricardo-montalban-image-01Vulture reports that talks with Del Toro broke down last Wednesday over monetary issues, leaving Abrams scrambling to find a replacement before the film’s January production start-date. I thought Del Toro was a fantastic choice for the follow-up’s baddie, and it’s more than a little disappointing to hear that things couldn’t be worked out.

While the internet was sent into a frenzy late last week over a report stating that Abrams and Co. had indeed settled on Khan as the film’s villain, the director himself responded with a curt “not true”. However, Vulture’s report states that they’ve heard from a highly placed source that Khan really is the villain (this is getting ridiculous). They point to Zack Snyder’s initial denial that General Zod was the villain in his Superman reboot Man of Steel, and say that Abrams is likely trying to throw fanboys off track.

At this point, the production is turning into the world’s biggest game of telephone. I’m inclined to take Abrams’ word for it regarding the Khan rumors, but I guess I wouldn’t be all that surprised if Khan was indeed the villain and he was just trying to keep things in the mystery box for a little while longer. The larger issue at stake here is the fact that no villain has been cast and filming starts in a little over two months. I’m hoping Abrams goes the same route as he did with Del Toro and chooses a thesp with serious acting chops in lieu of A-lister status. Star Trek 2 (unofficial title) opens in 3D on May 17th, 2013.

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