Benedict Cumberbatch to Play Unnamed Villain in ‘Star Trek 2′

by on November 10th, 2010
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J.J. Abrams’s untitled sequel to “Star Trek” continues to pull in new cast members. Four characters were cast in the past few days, one of which is the main villain of the film. Two of the other roles were those of a husband and wife who figure into the movie’s plot. The last role hasn’t had any information released about it. Filming on the long awaited follow-up is beginning this week.

British actor Benedict Cumberbatch will portray the film’s villain, a role Benecio del Toro and Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez were both considered for. Del Toro bailed out over money and Ramirez auditioned for the part but didn’t get it. It’s an interesting choice the studio made; both of the previous choices leaned toward wanting a darker-skinned actor for the part. Cumberbatch plays the lead character on the BBC’s “Sherlock” and stars in “War Horse” and “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.” He will also be providing the motion capture and voice for the dragon Smaug and the Necromancer in “The Hobbit.”

There’s still speculation as to who the villain might be Cumberbatch is playing. There have been reports that it’s Khan Noonien Singh, originally portrayed by Hispanic actor Ricardo Montalban in the original “Star Trek” series and “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” As I’ve stated before, this seems like a very bad idea that is could quite possibly blow up in Abrams’s face. Having the main villain of “The Wrath of Khan” re-appear in “Star Trek 2″ is silly to say the least. I can’t imagine for one second that Abrams or the writers of the film would seriously entertain the idea.

“Doctor Who” Actor Noel Clarke portrays an unnamed family man with a wife and young daughter. Clarke plays Mickey Smith on “Doctor Who” and Macros in “Centurion.” In order for Abrams and company to hire an actor well-known within the sci-fi world, it must be a relatively important role.

Indian-born actor Nazneen Contractor took the role of the wife of Noel Clarke’s character. She starred in “24” as Kayla Hassan in Season 8 of the hit TV series. The name of Contractor’s character hasn’t been announced yet. It’s reported Clarke’s character and Contractor’s have a young daughter together in the film. There’s been no announcement about the casting of that role yet.

Actor Joseph Gatt is the last person to be added to the cast. He appeared in “Thor” as a frost giant. What character he’ll be playing is unknown, but it will most likely be one that can take advantage of his motion capture and voice work for video games. Chances are he’ll be portraying an alien or a henchman of Cumberbatch’s villain.

I’m not too concerned over any of the casting for “Star Trek 2.” I’m not worried about anything in regards to the follow-up. I trust that J.J. Abrams and company know what they’re doing. They did something with “Star Trek” that most fans thought was impossible. They successfully breathed life into and relaunched a franchise that many considered dying or already deceased.

For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:

Start the Year Out Right With an Asylum ‘2012’ Movie
January 4: ‘Impostor’ Fails to Thrill Fans of Philip K. Dick
Mixed News About ‘The Avengers’ Could Thrill or Concern Fans

Eric Shirey is the founder and former editor of Rondo Award nominated movie news websites and His work has been featured on Yahoo!, DC Comics,, and other entertainment websites. Eric has interviewed and worked with actors like Harrison Ford, Brooke Shields, Gerard Butler, Brendan Fraser, Selena Gomez, and many more.

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