Following word earlier this week that Benicio Del Toro turned down a leading role in J.J. Abrams’ untitled Star Trek sequel, comes a report from Variety that Edgar Ramirez is now a strong contender, likely for the same role. He’s far from a lock, however, and Jordi Molla is also said to be up for the part.
Ramirez is best known for his leading role in Olivier Assayas’ miniseries, “Carlos” while Molla recently starred in Colombiana.
The news comes on the heels of word that both Alice Eve and Peter Weller have signed on for (also undisclosed) parts, joining John Cho, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban and Anton Yelchin.
Recent reports suggest that the role in question may be none other than Khan Noonien Singh, iconically brought to life by Ricardo Montalbán in the original series episode “Space Seed” and brought back for the 1982 feature film, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
Although Montalbán was himself of Latin decent (as are Del Toro, Ramirez and Molla), the character of Khan was originally intended to be of Indian ancestry. In the “Star Trek” universe, Khan was a genetically engineered tyrant who seized control of much of the Earth in the 1990’s during a conflict known as “The Eugenics Wars.” At the conclusion of his reign, Khan escaped the Earth in a starship, the Botany Bay, and was held in suspended animation with his crew until he was found and revived in 2267 by Captain James T. Kirk. As a point of reference, the first Abrams film takes in 2258, though in a diverging timeline. In theory, Khan could have been awakened as far back as 2233 when Nero (Eric Bana) first arrived and, from then on, altered history.
All that being said, Khan’s appearance in the sequel should still be considered rumor for the time being. What is known is that the film will boast a script from Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof and that it will begin shooting in early 2012, targeting a May 17, 2013 release.
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