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. Khan? again? looks like all JJ and team want to do is just reDO star trek. and anyway, wasn’t his first star trek almost completely identical to TWOK? JJ’s not even a ONE trick pony. Well, you ain’t getting none of my time OR money. So long, JJ.

  2. Bad news : Khan (in)
    Good news: Peter Weller (in)
    Bad news: Del Toro (in)
    Good news: Del Toro (out)

  3. I only want kahn if its del the borgs

  4. I was a bit suprized that they went with Kahn. From what I read and heard they did not want to go in that direction. Hope they have a back-up plan.

    • its not Khan. screen rant really screwedup this time. J.J. and the producers have been denying this for a week now. Explicitly saying precisely that Khan is not AT ALL involved in J.J.’s Star Trek universe.
      look it up. There will be filming in hawaii for a jungle planet, and that is the only information on the movie…

      Hope this was helpful.

      • Hmmmm….Jungle Planet? It could be Project Genesis! :)

  5. Hugh Jackman maybe… I’ll have to rematch TWOK to see if it’d work, it’s been awhile

  6. Or perhaps Christian Bale

  7. He did seem oddly perfect for the part. That’s a shame he’s out, especially if it’s over money.

    • Hopefully by no Del Toro, they will scrap these same ideas and start with something new

      • That would waste time. They have a release date to match. Why would they start from scratch on a movie just bc an actor turned down a role?

      • I don’t see how they can change anything except the actor. The movie is set to start production in about a month. That would be a huge waste of time and money to rewrite the story competently.

  8. I thought Guy Pearce for some reason…

  9. All the people who are complaining about Khan should stop, because you know you’re still gonna go see it… 😉

    • That doesn’t mean we can’t voice our complaints about the idea (this site is called Screen RANT for a reason).

      • Khan is not involved at all in J.J.’s star trek universe. Screen Rant has been fed misinformation. The entire production team keeps insisting that Khan will never be redone. He won’t be in star trek 2. Look it up.

        • God I hope you’re right – we need re-Khan like Vic needs the free ST:12 tickets he’s been pining for (no Chris pun intended).

          Seriously, if you do find evidence on the Web, I’d love to see it.

          • Its there, I just saw it an hour ago, hold on…

              • NEW FLASH: Directors lie when information leaks. Abrams like to keep his films secret, so of course he’s going to “deny” it.

                • THERE IS NO KHAN YOU TREKKIE, NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU TRY TO WILL IT, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                  • And yet, you have no actual legitment proof to back your claim other than using all caps. Directors have proven to lie about information when it leaks. Perfect example would be when Zack Snyder lied about Zod not being the villain in MOS, but confirmed it several months later.

                    BTW, I’m not a “Trekkie”. I never liked Star Trek until Abrams’ film.

  10. Dear JJ:

    That’s to bad about Benicio Del Toro, he’s a great actor and he’s passing up a great opportunity.


    • NESTOR CARBONELL Does look a lot like Kahn Ill give you that.

  11. Javier Bardem maybe? I’m always getting him mixed up with Del Toro anyway.

  12. Weller is AWESOME. I hope they utilize him well. As far as Khan goes, I’m on the side of “leave the poor horse alone”. BUT… if they HAVE to do it, I think Nestor Carbonell could probably pull off a pretty convincing Montalban.

  13. Vic, personally, I think you’re kowtowing to Hollywood’s feeble attempt at one of our most beloved films. In suggesting that Khan should re-appear, they are spitting in the face of Montalban’s performance, as well as treading on the greatest ST film of all time. Your blind support of this tells me that neither you nor Hollywood understand what we fans deserve – terrific, ORIGINAL storytelling in the best tradition of Trek. Instead, we are once again forced to rehash old characters….sigh….

    We NEED an original tale that sees Kirk and Co. return to the past to correct the timeline – fixing the timeline respects canon and past films, while providing fans with new situations to see our beloved crew undertake. No other storyline is acceptable, unless this happens as a result of another ORIGINAL storyline introduced by JJ. The crew journeying to the past (as a result of the black hole) should have happened at the end of ST:11 – you can even see the point where Orci and Kurtzman considered the path but did not act upon it.

    Vic, I would think someone like you should have recognized this sham and called Hollywood’s bluff. Instead, you’re acting like you’re schmoozing for tickets.

    Shame on you.

    • Well….you didn’t understand the brilliance of creating a new timeline and allowing the filmmakers the opportunity to put a fresh spin on beloved cannon; otherwise, they might as just make more tng films or some other spinoff series.

      • Eggs. Ackley.

    • They just brought back Captain Kirk from the first film and some people said exactly the same as you… but it worked.

      Before that, some people said the exact same about doing Joker on screen again after Nicholson’s performance… and it worked.

      IMO, complaints are meaningless until we see something because the only thing we know is that it’s going to be different and that could be amazing.

      Any logic about them not being able to re-do it or them rehashing old ideas is entirely flawed because the entire film is based on a crew of characters recast from the 60s-80s

      • Preach it Rob!!! Mmhmmmm…

      • Flawed? Hardly. Seems much more risky to use something that has been used before. Sure it can be amazing but it could also fall flat on its face simply because many would be disappointed in the reuse of said character and storyline despite any unique twist.

        On the other hand, doing something completely NEW has the potential to be even MORE amazing. Plus if it isn’t the best at least we would all say they were at least original.

        • “doing something completely NEW has the potential to be even MORE amazing” or it could be a lot worse because a lot of fans like to see things related to events/characters/species that the shows made popular.

          Can’t argue either side until we see the product.

    • First off, Vic isn’t listed as the writer for this article. Second, perhaps the writer simply has a different opinion than you?

  14. Maybe Weller will be Khan. ….Nobody else said it, so I figured I would. Maybe Khan will go back in time to try and destroy Kirk and co. before they even know who he is! Wouldn’t that be a crazy twist?!

    • Can’t happen. Khan first appeared in the original TV series. He was cryogenicly frozen in the 1990’s, and revived when the Enterprise crew stumbled upon him. In the new ST universe, Khan would still be frozen, because it happened before the timeline was altered.

      It would be tough to do the Khan story differently from how the original series handled it. The only way to rehash an old ST story, and make it original, is by exploiting the fact that the new St universe is dramatically different, which would allow old characters to be portrayed in a completely new way. Hard to do with Khan, because in both universes, he is still a Khan-sicle, floating around in space.

      • If Khan is the villain the new universe, they’d discover that ship 9 years earlier.

        Agreed on different universe.

      • Not necessarily. Since the timeline has changed, someone else could have discovered Khan while Kirk was a teenager. Khan could have conquered the race that thawed him out and is now going after the Federation.

        • Kahless is correct. Due to the timeline change, one cannot assume that everything in the old timeline still takes place. When Nero killed Kirk’s dad and Spock’s mom, he altered the time completely. It really is as if the previous timeline did not exist.

          For a more indepth understanding of timelines, read Flashpoint. It’s an accurate account of the buttefly effect.

          (just kidding)

          • There is one more thing to consider; while the lives of those directly involved were greatly effected, the surounding universe would have been minimally changed (in some instances not at all). The Botany Bay may have floated right out of the galaxy never to be seen in the Milkey Way again.

            • You forget, though, that Kirk’s father was killed. It’s quite possible that much of the history before Kirk became captain has changed, including who finds Khan.

          • Everything before the timeline changed, would still have taken place. Khan was frozen before Nero went, and made everything all crazy like.

            • But what if Kirk’s father, in the original timeline, had prevented some race (say Klingons) from going into a specific sector of space? Since Kirk’s father died before he could stop this, the race does go into that sector and find Khan.

  15. Luis Toscar.
    He played Malamadre in the AMAZING film, ‘Cell 211.’ He realitively unknown to American audiences, but has the chops to portray Khan as not only terrifying, but with real depth. Plus, him being a foreign actor, audiences won’t have preconceived opinions of him.

  16. This is so weak. If theyre lucky they will get 3 decent films out of this reboot and theyre already running to do Kahn? Shows how creative these writers are. Kahn may be Star Treks best bad guy but Kirk was defined by his battles with the Klingons! Id think the chance to reboot an entire race and the biggest conflick/war? in TOS would appeal to someone. As far as Del Toro goes, I really think the guy is over rated and was wrong for the part of Kahn if thats who he was to play. Id rather have seen him as a Klingon really but again I think he is over rated and they could find someone better.

    • I fully agree. We’re aching to see a Badass (non-christopher Loyd) Klingon battle. Khan is something they should tease at in the sequel and bring him back later.


      • I get it! I know damn well there’s no Khan!

  17. If they are indeed doing Khan I highly doubt it will be the same plot as TWOK. If anything it’ll be more on how they meet like in the original series. Seeing as how it’s a separate timeline I’m ok with it. While I’ll admit they probably could have come up with a more inspired choice of villain, I’m still interested to see what Abrams and crew come up with. Who to play Khan is another question. RM was an elegant villain and even though he’s an amazing actor I think del Toro is too creepy and weird for Khan. Honestly I think Nestor Campbell or Antonio Banderas could pull it off.

    • Separate timeline, yes. Different circumstances, probably not. The only way that Khan works, is if someone else has stumbled upon him, and awoken him from his cryogenic state.

      Now that I think about it, there is a very interesting way to do a Khan re-boot. Khan was a very powerful man before he was frozen in the 1990’s. In the original series, he was thawed out by the Enterprise crew, at which point Khan attempted to take control of Enterprise. In a re-boot, maybe Khan is discovered by another race, is thawed, and succeeds in taking control of the ship that discovered him. He could then go on to conquer another civilization, and lead them to become the next great enemy of the Federation.

  18. Thank god – now we can have an ORIGINAL story about someone other than a character who’s already been in a terrific ST film.

    Vic, it really is the best move for JJ and his team to not focus on Khan whatsoever.

    Again, I think this story needs to focus on fixing the timeline, rather than retreading on old, revered characters and performances that no one has a chance of matching. Adding a quality actor like Weller, who was terrific on an otherwise lame ST:E, is a good move for this film.

  19. They’re going to lay off the time travel this time around, I’m sure of it. But @Brian’s got a good point, has it occurred to anyone that Peter Weller could possible be playing Khan now that BDT is out…?

  20. OK, I’m sorry, but am I the only one that feels it was the character Khan, not the performance, that was iconic. Face it, RM’s acting was pretty cheesy and he’s not exactly the best actor. TWOK had an amazing plot and backstory, but the acting wasn’t exactly worthy of never being touched. Khan wasn’t your typical villian with typical motives; that’s why we love him….and that’s why we (secretly) want him back. I’ve met RM, been in his home, and truly do not think highly of him as an actor.
    Sorry. Someone had to say it.

  21. Does he have to be white i have a good black khan
    the actor thats on New Girl right now he be perfect
    heres a thought Orlando Bloom as Khan it would definietly
    be a new approach I still like Harry Mudd or Gary Mitchell
    myself as baddies :)it better be good with peter weller in it:)

  22. First off, everyone’s entitled to their opinions. Second, people love stuff they are familiar with i.e. going to your favorite restaurants and ordering the same thing every time! Then again, people like something new too!

    OK, enough preaching. Why can’t this be a movie that is based on a battle FOR Khan? Hear me out…Khan is a super human that was built to rule, right? Seems like a pretty formidable weapon to use against the Federation, no? Enter an enemy (Klingon Commander Peter Weller perhaps) trying to outrace the Enterprise to the SS Botany Bay. Maybe the Enterprise knows what they are getting into, maybe they are just following orders and Khan’s story unfolds along the journey?

    Regardless, the climactic battle pits the Federation against the Klingons, and an unfortunate betrayal by the awaken Khan. I can see Khan being beamed aboard another Federation ship (obviously not the Reliant) that has joined the battle alongside the Enterprise and others, that crew gets slaughtered (including Alice Eve, the love interest of Kirk in this movie), and this same ship is used by Khan to wipe out the rest of the Federation fleet that is fighting alongside the Enterprise. I can picture it now, Chris Pine at this moment yelling, “KHAN!!!”

    Movie ends with the Enterprise retreating, Kirk’s beginning hatred for the Klingons for setting Khan free and helping his slaughter his love (looking to spare David in this new timeline), and a nice set-up to the third movie as Khan being the main baddie.

    What do you think?

    • Here’s another thought. What if it’s the Klingons who first discover Khan, and not the Enterprise? The difference would be that Khan succeeds in taking over the Klingon ship. From there, I could see Khan paralleling Tom Hardy’s character in “Nemesis”. A person of a different race, who rises to power through his military endeavors.

      • Didn’t I JUST say something very similar in my post above? But I like the fact you’re thinking outside the box with the second part of your post. Regardless, the original rules of TOS don’t apply anymore (which was the point of the reboot). You can make Khan’s story over in any number of ways. Since Kirk and crew were throw off course a bit (story and timeline-wise), maybe someone else already marooned him on Ceti Alpha V after awakening him?

        I’m just saying he can be a part of the story leading up to being the main baddie in the third film.

        • They should have sent him to Seti Alpha Six instead; problem solved. 😀

    • Your plot seems similar to Transformers: Dark of the Moon just imagine Sentinel Prime as Khan the difference is SP is killed in DOTM and Khan warms up in ST2 for ST3 lol

  23. This has all the makings of a disaster – del Toro steps out, leaving JJ with no actor and a possible crap script of re-Khan’s appearance. Sounds more and more like JJ’s been bowling with Rick Berman. Vic, if you don’t know who that is, he was the dude who screwed up TNG, DS9, ST:E, and the four films produced after the original crew.

    I’m not liking where this is going…

  24. I’m not going to use the h-word, but if Khan is indeed the villain, Abrams & Co. are a bunch of… eh… “taxicabs.”

  25. This is absolute insanity.

  26. Just put some Klingons in the movie and BAM, perfect sequel. No Khan required.

  27. They’ve been saying since the beginning that they’d like the plot to be environmental. That’ll be interesting, but dammit if I’m not a sucker for some deep space dogfighting!!!

  28. How about an Indian actor for Khan? Naveen Andrews maybe?

  29. Ya
    Paging Javier Bardim

    He would be much better, near perfect as Khan anyway

    • Bardem’s name is popping up a lot on Twitter.