Benedict Cumberbatch Signs On as Villain in ‘Star Trek 2’

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Benedict Cumberbatch villain Star Trek 2Benedict Cumberbatch is probably best known as the title character in the BBC’s television series “Sherlock Holmes”, but theatrical audiences have gotten a good taste of his work as of late in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse and with one of the more interesting roles in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Well, now he’ll be known to the masses as the lead villain in Star Trek 2.

Variety‘s Jeff Sneider brings us the news and the casting of Cumberbatch will either squash the rumors that the film’s villain will be Khan or suggest this new Star Trek timeline has simply changed his ethnicity.

Rumors Khan would be the films villain began long before casting, but once Benicio del Toro and then Edgar Ramirez‘s names came up, the rumors persisted as it seemed only Latin actors were being sought for a role that was originally played by the late Ricardo Montalban. Either way, Khan or not, Cumberbatch has the role, but the nature of his villainy is being kept secret.

The only other role on Cumberbatch’s upcoming slate is as the voice of Smaug in The Hobbit: There and Back Again.

Additional casting on the as yet Untitled Star Trek Sequel broke earlier today when Variety report “Doctor Who” star Noel Clarke had joined the cast as “a family man with both a wife and daughter.” No additional information was given.

Clarke and Cumberbatch join Alice Eve and Peter Weller as the new names to join the cast of the continuing franchise, which is set to hit theaters on May 17, 2013 in 3D. The film is again being directed by J.J. Abrams with a script from Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof.