Taking on a role that Benicio del Toro reportedly turned down, Benedict Cumberbatch will portray the as-of-yet unidentified villain of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek sequel. Internet speculation has been rampant that the villain is none other than Khan Noonien Singh, the character that Ricardo Montalbán made famous in The Wrath of Khan. Actors Édgar Ramírez and Jordi Mollà were also reported to have been considered for the role.
Cumberbatch is perhaps best known as his role on the BBC series, Sherlock. He also had roles in last year’s War Horse and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. He will provide voiceover and a motion-capture performance as the dragon Smog in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, coincidentally starring his Watson, Martin Freeman, as Bilbo Baggins. The next Trek film is set to release on both 3-D and regular screens on May 17, 2013.