Benedict Cumberbatch Enlists For ‘Star Trek 2′ [Updated]

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:28 pm,

Benedict Cumberbatch Star Trek 2 Benedict Cumberbatch Enlists For Star Trek 2 [Updated]

It was a month ago today when we found out that Benicio Del Toro had turned down a role as the primary villain of Star Trek 2. The news broke alongside multiple reports that the character Del Toro was in the running to play was the long-rumored Khan, the most iconic of Star Trek villains.

With the holidays approaching and principal photography beginning this month, J.J. Abrams and co. were in a hurry to find a replacement and names including Édgar Ramírez and Jordi Mollà quickly surfaced as potential replacements, but it is among the unlikeliest of actors where they may have found the film’s antagonist: Benedict Cumberbatch.

There’s no official word from Paramount Pictures yet regarding the signing of the Brit actor, but The Wrap has the scoop that Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast into a “lead role” for the sequel to Abrams’ reboot of Star Trek. Also making headlines today is another casting addition from the UK in the form of Noel Clarke (Doctor Who).

Cumberbatch may not be a recognizable name (yet) among American audiences but his unique face and memorable roles as of late should have struck a chord with savvy moviegoers and television aficianados. Quite simply, the man’s career has exploded this year and we can thank his masterful portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in BBC’s Sherlock series for propelling his career forward.

In addition to his roles in the critically acclaimed War Horse and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy this year, Cumberbatch has previously appeared in films including Atonement and The Other Boleyn Girl, and will voice the key characters of Smaug the dragon and the Necromancer in The Hobbit.

While it is likely that Cumberbatch has been cast as the film’s primary villain, this news will undoubtedly confuse fans expecting a character reminiscent of Ricardo Montalban’s performance in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and that’s a good thing as no one wants an imitation. Regardless of whether or not the film will offer an alternate take on the character of Khan, Cumberbatch is an inspired choice as a villainous character opposite Captain Kirk and one that fans can easily get behind if they’ve seen his work.

Noel Clarke Star Trek 2 Benedict Cumberbatch Enlists For Star Trek 2 [Updated]

Also making headlines today is another casting addition from the UK in the form of Noel Clarke (Doctor Who). Variety reports that Clarke will be playing a “family man with a wife and young daughter” in a smaller role, so take from that what you will.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Noel Clarke are joined by Alice Eve and Peter Weller as newcomers to the sequel which will of course bring back the entire crew of the USS Enterprise, including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho and Anton Yelchin.

Star Trek 2 hits theaters on May 17, 2013.


Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Sources: The Wrap, Variety

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  1. Not Khan then. But fantastic casting. Even more excited now. Hopefully it will be an original villain.

    • Agreed. The idea of doing a Kahn re-imagining was not appealing at all.

      • Not yet at least. I can see Khan in the next one or later, but lets not retread just yet.

  2. Also worth mentioning Noel Clarke (Mickey from the first four seasons of new Doctor Who) has been cast too.

    • Yeap, I added then in after but had to get the lead role news up asap :)

      • I saw that you added it Rob. You’re on the ball today.

  3. Awesome actor, should be great. Probably not Khan now, then. I could see him as Q, though.

    • Oh he’d be great as Q. But I don’t see them going down that route, the problem with using Q in a film is that he’s just too powerful and I never saw Q as a villain. Quite the opposite in fact.

      • Q…Cumberbatch. He’d never live it down. :)

        • HA! Fantastic!

          • Try a retelling of Trelane if you are going to go the Q route.

      • Agreed.

    • I could see him as Q. How cool would that be if the main antagonist was Q..? I can’t wait to find out, as I love Cumberland because of his role as Sherlock Holmes in BBC’s Sherlock.

  4. Great news. Very happy for Cumberbatch. He really is one of the greatest actors working today and hopefully this is a stepping stone to him playing Ant Man or Dr Strange for Marvel.

    • Wow. I didn’t even think of that, but him as either would be pretty damn cool. I could certainly see him working with Edgar Wright on Ant-Man.


    • Are you just trying to seem unique? In this case, that uniqueness would NOT be complimentary in the slightest, given the brilliance of Cumberbatch in his roles so far…

  6. More white people and more white people getting lead roles

    • ???

    • ha ha ha, that comment made me laugh. Because it makes no sense.

      • It’s a nonsense. Given that this is article is about the casting of a white and black actor.
        And considering the massive impact Star Trek has had in the past with race issues.

        • Yes, it was the first to use minorities in high ranking positions. And we will never forget the first inter-racial kiss.

          • Oh btw @Kahless I got my first ever taste of Star Trek via 2009 reboot last week. So much slang revealed.

    • Why?

  7. This guy really is the real deal when it comes to great new actors and only right he makes the jump from TV to Big Screen.

  8. I’m way more excited about him playing Smaug…but still love the Trek news.

  9. At last!! Some news that will lead us down the path AWAY from Kahn as the villain. Don’t get me wrong, (Montalban’s) Kahn was great, but I so want to see a new bad guy.


  10. love the choice! new villian hopefully! ……. sadly , still no Puerto Ricans in Star Trek OR Star Wars for that matter!!! man!?! Can we get a J-Lo cameo????

    • I know I’m goiung to get slamed, but I liked her in the movies she’s done. To see her in a Sterfleet uniform…Well need I say more?

      • Her ass wouldn’t fit in a Starfleet uniform.

        • Yea, so?

          • I like the Starfleet uniform because you can see a lot but not too much. There’s a sexy mystery to it. Zoe Saldana looks super hot in it.

        • I don’t understand, is this a bad thing?

    • I don’t think Puerto Rico exists in the Star Wars Universe.

  11. Yeah why aren’t there any Innuits in Star Trek?

    • Now that’s funny.

      My cousin is half Inuit, and actually kind of looks like wesley crusher, wtf.

      • Ha! I’m not sure if looking like Wil Wheaton is a good thing or a bad thing.

        • Definitely a bad thing. I’ve been rewatching ST:TNG lately and he’s more annoying now than ever.

          • But didn’t you just love his wardrobe? That rainbow striped shirt was fab! And those turtleneck sweaters… OMG.

            of course I’m kidding.

            • My best mate and me are always saying “They have all this amazing technology but why the hell do they have such awful dress sense?!”

              The answer? It was the eighties.

  12. More Benedict Cumberbatch can only be a good thing.

  13. Sounds good.

  14. Nice. His BBC Sherlock portrayl is top notch. He reminds me of a young alan rickman

  15. Never really posted here but I’m a big Sherlock Holmes fan and I think he’s a very good choice for a bad guy. Sometimes watching the episodes, he makes me think he’s going down that path.

    Oh, and isn’t Jimmy Smits half puerto rican. He was given a very important role in the Star Wars universe.

  16. Call me crazy, but looking at him in the pic above, Cumberbatch has a Vulcan appearance. If not Vulcan then most likely Romulan.

  17. classic american casting- return of the british upper crust villian, fantastic!
    i reckon it will be a kahn re-imagining, maybe not in name, but in character. with a stiff uper lip.

  18. Really hope khan is not involved in this movie. It would be a terrible move. jj abrams is a sellout.

  19. Heh.. Maybe J.J and company are recycling “Ghost Protocols” script ala the misunderstood hero Gary Seven! (Cumberbatch)

    Hey it could be fun! When was a “Star Trek” film genuinely fun? It’s been awhile…

  20. That Sherlock show that Benedict Cumberbatch is in has gay undertones between him and Watson.

    JJ Abrams said a few months back that Star Trek never mentioned gay people, and that he’d like to work it into the sequel. Elementary my dear!

    • They may have not used the words “gay” or “homosexual” but TNG had an episode where a formally male Trill was implanted into a female but still had romantic feelings for Dr. Crusher. There was also an episode of TNG with a race of androgynous beings, one having feelings for Riker. DS9 had an episode where 2 female Trills had romantic feelings for each other.

  21. With all this world-wide focus on Mayan-Calendar countdown madness, and Ridley-Scott steering the ‘Alein’ prequel (‘Prometheus’) towards the subject of ‘Mankinds Roots’, I’m wondering if the Star-Trek sequel might not benefit from possibly tieing-in TNG-Capt. Picards well-known obscession with ‘The Preservers’ (ancient space-faring civilizations who ‘seeded’ the Universe with life-forms) and find a place in the plot to incorporate an older (well-known) Star-Trek Villain (possibly the ‘beginning’ of the Borg or some-such character) and throw in a NEW villain along with that, while still building upon love-interest between Spock/Uhura, and while rebuilding the Vulcan race, show how the Romulans ‘split’ off ? ? ? I dunno…just throwing ideas out there; I also agree with avoiding dragging Khan Noonian Singh into this mix…Ricardo Montalban’s performances should be allowed to rest in peace, and serve as an example of how a villain is expected to be…lightning seldom strikes twice in the same place; unless of course you happen to be Heath Ledger…

  22. Beeeeeneeeeeediiiiiiiiiict Cuuuumberrbaaaaaatch <3 UNF.

  23. Like others, I can see Cumberbatch as Q. Probably time to let the Khan character “rest in peace.”