Benicio Del Toro Passes on Playing Star Trek 2’s Khan

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:47 pm,

It’s a day of good and bad news for J.J. Abrams, fans and everyone involved with the production of Star Trek 2. On Friday, news broke that the long-rumored villainous Khan would in fact be featured in the sequel to Abrams’ quasi-reboot of the franchise, a role that was expected to be played by Benicio Del Toro whose been in talks for the part over the last month.

Today, while it was announced that Peter Weller (RoboCop) is joining the cast in a supporting role, joining Alice Eve who’s playing a new character, reports are also indicating that Benicio Del Toro has dropped out of the project.

Vulture has the scoop which explains that Del Toro’s reps couldn’t come to terms of a monetary figure with Paramount to star as Star Trek 2’s villain so he’s now out. What’s more interesting is that the deal reportedly fell apart last Wednesday, two days before our friends at Latino Review dropped the news that Khan would be the film’s villain – news that HitFix heard from Abrams is “not true.”

Perhaps it was only “not true” because Abrams knew Del Toro was out, not explicitly denying that Khan is the villain of the film.

So, the good news is that Weller is involved, the bad is that Del Toro is not. The additional good/bad news – depending on your personal opinon – is that Vulture has also confirmed from their source that Khan is indeed the villain of the sequel.

For us, we’re excited to see a new take on Khan and Del Toro seemed oddly perfect for the role. With him out, Abrams has a lot of work to do in filling that character role, especially with Star Trek 2 schedule to begin filming in a matter of weeks.

The timing of the Weller news is convenient, almost serving as a cushion for the Del Toro news. If you believe Khan will feature in Star Trek 2, who do you believe could offer an interesting new portrayal of the character originally played by Ricardo Montalban?

[poll id=”222″]

Star Trek 2 hits theaters on May 17, 2013.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Vulture

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  1. Oops Bardim is going to be filming Skyfall

    Nestor Carbonelle on the juice?

    • Hmmmm. With Del Toro out. I frankly do NOT know who else could fill the role of Khan, at leasr at the moment. Perhaps, this is only a temporary. And after deep thought I’ll be able to offer a list of viable contenders for the role! (*smiles*)

  2. Or Banderas as Khan. It has to be someone with a lot of charisma. Maybe the crew stumbles upon the Borg by being sucked through a worm hole. And you can’t tell me you can’t see Peter Weller as a Borg baddie.

  3. Nestor Carbonell for Khan is an absolute ‘no brainer’ – not only does he look and sound like a younger Richardo Montalban but he is exactly the right age in this time line of the Trek. Del Toro was always a bad decision in my opinion, he is a terrific actor and a legend (just for Fear and Lothing in Las Vegas alone) but not sure if he could do ‘Khan’.

    • Most Defintely!!!

      I’m still not fired up about Khan being the baddie (still feels like a re-tread to me), but Carbonell would be a MUCH better fit than Del Toro! Something tells me he could really sink deep into the character and Become Khan where Del Toro would be more of a “Big Actor as Khan” kinda thing.

      Carbonell gets my vote for sure!



      • But he looks maaavelous. Not that good of an actor though. Arnold Swarzennegger is looking for a comeback. (Joking)

      • Uhm hello Khan was old. LOL so what!

        • He was Old in Star Trek 2, which took place 20 some odd years after Montalban originally portrayed the role in the 60’s tv show. The reboot franchise takes place with the crew just out of Starfleet Academy. Kahn would have to be young in the new series or the timeline wouldn’t be right although since it is a reboot, I suppose they can do whatever they want with the character’s age). Nestor Carbonell is a great choice for Khan. Let’s hope Abrams thinks so too.

          • To all the people that keep complaining Del Toro was too old for Khan because this takes place 20 years earlier than Star Trek 2 did . . .

            Khan was in cryo-stasis for that entire 20 year period, he’s not going to age! So if his ship is found 20 years earlier and he’s released, he’ll be the same age as he was in the original Star Trek episodes that he appeared in.

            Which, by the way, is the ONLY thing I would be looking forward to, if they indeed use Khan as a villain. Because Khan would be the same age as when originally released, he’s also of the same experience, but Kirk and crew are much younger and less-tried. It could be interesting to see how a younger, less experienced Kirk deals with Khan.

            But honestly, I’m not expecting them to really exploit this idea, and frankly the thought of them using Khan has killed most of the incredibly high enthusiasm I had for the sequel. The first one took everybody on a completely original adventure, and that’s part of what made it so spectacular. Why should we then turn around and pay to see the same thing that the original cast worked so well with?

            • Anyone thought that maybe the movie will be about the marooning of the Botany Bay? Not taking place as Star Trek The Wrath of Khan did, but maybe how the original series started out. Then bring Khan back in a few years after the explosion in the Ceti star system?

  5. Here is your story kids…. in JJ’s universe is not Kirk, but Peter Wllers character ( Starfleet captain testing out a new Starship possibly a more high tech enterprise replacement) that finds Khan and the Botany Bay. Khan convinces Wellers character to go Rougue/Renegade and attack Starfleet. In comes Kirk and crew to save the day ….. the end

    • @Omar Swarrezz:

      That’s a terrible idea. First, I can’t believe they’d come up with some new, high-tech enterprise replacement so soon after the first launch of their flagship Enterprise (remember, the newest Star Trek featured the Enterprise coming out of “dry-dock” for the first time).

      Then there’s this; which seems more likely, that Khan convinces a tried and trustworthy starship captain to turn on Starfleet (which, for a single ship, is a suicide move if I’ve ever heard of one), or that Khan would just take over the ship himself? Mastermind though Khan is, he’s not the kind of guy that plays puppeteer while some figurehead gets all the glory, he’s the guy who makes his presence known.

      And frankly, if I want to see Khan take over a starship (either himself, or through ridiculous and unbelievable coercion) and come after Starfleet, I’ll just watch Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan.

    • makes a lot more sense than most, besides weller’s character rumored to be robert april would make it more believable

  6. If some Muppets are from space…. BOOM! Financial Juggernaut Cross-over.

    Muppet Khan!

    Miss Piggy discovers she’s a descendant of Klingons. (Explains the aggression)

    • Hahahahahaha. That’s a great one!

  7. J. J., I’ll play Khan for cheap: $5 Million plus royalites off all the toys they make.

    • Agreed, I fail to see his talent.

  8. It’s funny that whether Khan is being used or not, that it is automatically assumed someone of Spanish descent has to play the part.

    • Funnier still, Why not a strong actress to play Kahn! How many cries of foul would that cause?

      • “Funnier still, Why not a strong actress to play Kahn! How many cries of foul would that cause?”

        Probably about as many as this thread squared. Interesting take though, considering Kirk’s reputation as an intergalactic chaser of women….

    • What race is Khan? Egyptian? Asian?

      • Really don’t think it ever came up. Due to the nature of the times Ricardo Montalban was known to play Native American and Latin characters, so I think the character may have been based a bit off of that. The name Khan makes one think of the Mongol leader of course, but Rodenberry is known to place historical themes in most of his work so there really isn’t any one race that the character could be.

      • I don’t think they ever said definitely. But in “Space Seed” he was believed to be from the “Northern India area…probably a Singh”.

        • I thought McGivers said “probably a Seet”?

          • It would be either Sikh or Singh as in Khan Noonien Singh. Now, I actually believe it is Sikh.

            • I just looked up the word Sikh, and it is pronounced “seek”, so that’s most likely his race.

  9. @Vic

    Well perhaps that fitness regime that he would have had to partake in to portray the perfect specimen of Kahn was just too much for him! ^-^

  10. Didn’t a previous article here claim that Benecio was definitely playing Khan? At this point, I can’t even believe that Khan will be the villain. It would be a stupid choice, anyway, entirely unoriginal. Stop with your speculation and wait for the movie. The first one was seriously overhyped, anyway.

  11. I am sure someone has already said this, but Del Toroooooo? and Whyyyyyy?

  12. KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNN……. should be Antonio Banderas.

  13. Maybe Peter Weller is gonna play a Talosian!!!!!!!!

    • Agreed!

      On the topic of “new” story lines, I wish something had come from Brian Singer’s Star Trek concept he had started working on. Apparently, he and a couple others started developing an idea for a new series called Star Trek: Federation that would take place several centuries ahead of everything else we’ve seen, at a point where the Federation has dwindled to a handful of barely-kept planets and Starfleet is stretched too thin to do anything of note. The plan was that a new Enterprise is built, the first in generations, to investigate some new, mysterious threat beyond the reach of any other ship in the fleet.

      But shortly before pitching all this to Paramount, they announced the new Star Trek with J.J. Abrams and the concept didn’t go any farther. Somewhere on the internet, you can find a link to all the material they put together (about 30 pages in all, if I remember right), but I forget where it was posted. Oh well, too bad it’ll never come to be.

  14. Khaaaaaan!!! You guys stop with all the Khaaaaaaning. Sheesh it’s going to be along two years if/when they confirm Khan will or won’t be the next villain.

    Somehow I think that post will come back to bite me in the butt. But seriously the should do the Borg just to shake up the timeline.

  15. How about William Shatner as Khan?

    • Kiiiiiiiirk!!

    • Khan is supposed to be the perfect specimen with a superior intellect, not a balding old fat man from Canada ha ha!

      • come on who else but shatner. a beloved captain in the 60’s, a floater in the 70’s, tj hooker in the 80’s, rescue 911 a hit show for cbs in the 90’s, one of 3 acters to win an emmy for playing the same characters on two different shows in the 00’s, part of the opening act for the oscars in the current decade. he’s done it all.

    • Khan is supposed to be a perfect specimen with a superior intellect not a balding old fat man ha!

      • Twice!

  16. They should look at Edgar Ramirez or Antonio Banderas. Banderas can still bring the intensity, charm and deviousness to this role and he can still do fight scenes and action.

    Carbonall is too small to play Khan!

  17. Javier Bardem would have been the best choice, but he is filming the Bond film Skyfall and I dount his scenes on that film will be done in a month and then he can jump straight to Trek?

  18. using khan is stupid. theres already a star trek 2 with him in it, remember this is a new franchise, find a new character. dont use an old one. but if need be, use sean connery for an older take. its a new franchise, twist the age a bit.

    • Hate to rain on your parade, but Sean Connery has been retired for quite a few years. He briefly talked about coming out of retirement for the fourth Indiana Jones, saying that if anything could bring him back to acting it’d be that franchise, but that obviously didn’t happen. Even 20 years ago, I wouldn’t have considered him the “perfect specimen” of human physiology that Khan was supposed to be, much less so now.

      But I’d be cool if they tweaked the age a bit for the right actor.

  19. Remember/ I think the crew of the new Enterprise are still in an alternative universe that Spock had created by going back in time, or some how from the first movie of ’09. Some how creating a alternate future. Khan should be okay, but a new kind of Khan. Del Toro would be a great Star Trek villian. Maybe, he should be a new villian. He should be made a captain of another ship, or an Admiral or something. But if he doesn’t want to do it. Star Trek will still be good. Maybe, he wants to be Batman or something. All of the new crew fit their roles nicely. However, Kirk should reframe from refering to Doctor McCoy as “Bones”. Because, the original Kirk refered to McCoy as “Bones” only when he, Kirk, was at a personal and sensitive low, or when he was undecided. For the most part, Kirk, called McCoy, “Dr. McCoy”, or “Doctor”. New Spocks voice should be enhanced a little. Not so soft sounding. But, the roles are fitting for all the most part. I am all for the return of Khan. Also, new adventure and new villians will be great to. Maybe, both. Hey, howabout making Kirk and Khan new found friends in this alternate existance. Then developing a new villian for them both.

    • Actually, it was Nero that changed the future, not Spock. And this Kirk is not the exact copy of the Kirk from TOS, so calling McCoy “Bones” while on duty would still work.

      Khan would never be friends with anyone not enhanced (except he did marry someone not enhanced, so maybe as long as Kirk is obedient to him). Remember, this would still be the same Khan they faced against in Space Seed.

  20. Oh well, since Del Toro is out, I can keep my money in my pocket and get it from the library when it comes out on dvd…

  21. Javier Bardem…perfect for the part. He has the good looks and debonair persona needed to follow Recardo Montalban. Even more importantly, his ability to adapt to any role makes him the perfect candidate. I, for one, believe that he would be capable of mesmerizing his audience in this role and would look forward to experiencing the Khahn he would deliver. I hope the “powers that be”, will think of him. Benicio del Toronto just didn’t have the energy for this one.

  22. Interesting to read so many comments suggesting Javier Garden for the role. I had not looked ahead before mentioning him, but apparently a lot of others recognize what I see in his appeal for this part. Maybe this will come together. Who knows!? What I DO know is that I truly enjoyed the outcome of the first effort on this project and I am sure I will watch whatever they bring together this time! (But if there IS a Khahn, I, and a few others, would like to see Javier Barren in the role).

  23. Interesting to read so many comments suggesting Javier Garden for the role. I had not looked ahead before mentioning him, but apparently a lot of others recognize what I see in his appeal for this part. Maybe this will come together. Who knows!? What I DO know is that I truly enjoyed the outcome of the first effort on this project and I am sure I will watch whatever they bring together this time! But if there IS a Khahn, I, and a few. others, would like to see Javier Barren in the role).

  24. Khan has been done. Let’s leave it that. I don’t think it was ever confirmed that that was the roll del toro was to play. Assumed more likely. Rehashing the same stuff defeats the whole purpose of the awesome clean slate premise the last movie brought on. New trek new characters. Khan was never any kind of overarching villain anyway he appeared twice ever. An refreshing take on a minor character such as harry mudd as a (key word) side character (nothing more) would be interesting. But no khan is too much the blatant uncreative lazy cash cow rehash. They should stay away from that kind of thing now that they’ve brilliantly established a new universe. I don’t think they went out of their way to make a new universe to remake the old movie series. Seriously.