J.J. Abrams is getting pretty close to the conclusion of his six-month production for the untitled Star Trek sequel now. Outside of a few unrevealing set photos and technical details having been leaked, the filmmaker has proven quite successful at maintaing secrecy around his tentpole, sci-fi franchise project.
Here’s the inevitable “however” – several juicy Star Trek 2 rumors are circulating right now, ranging from the true identity of Benedict Cumberbatch’s character – to the possibility of an original series cast member showing up – and details about certain classic Trek baddies, playing second fiddle in the film.
Suffice it to say: none of this is official right now and should be taken with a grain of salt. However, those who wish to avoid any potential spoilers at this point, STOP READING NOW!!!
POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD!
TrekMovie‘s trusted sources are confirming what other outlets (including AICN) have been claiming lately: that Cumberbatch is indeed portraying super-human Khan Noonien Singh, rumored to be the central antagonist in the Trek sequel ever since Benicio Del Toro was being eyed for the role.
While this news is far from 100% guaranteed true (much less official), there’s more than a little good reason to suspect that it’s accurate. Trek sequel co-writer Damon Lindelof previously indicated that he and his collaborators (Star Trek writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci) are taking their cues for the sequel from The Dark Knight, which likewise featured an iconic villain, who’d already been featured in a previous cinematic incarnation of that particular franchise.
After Del Toro passed on the role, other Latino/Hispanic actors were eyed as a replacement for the Trek sequel villain part, prompting comparisons to the previous actor to play Khan onscreen, Mexican thespian Ricardo Montalban. (Yes, we know the character was originally supposed to be of Indian Asian descent.) However, fan-fave Cumberbatch (Sherlock) surprised most everyone by walking away with the role, leading to speculation that all the Khan talk may well have been off the mark.
Perhaps the biggest piece of evidence that suggests the Khan story is indeed true was presented recently by Cumberbatch himself (albeit, somewhat inadvertently). During an interview with LondonNet, the actor revealed that he’d been working out and altering his physique, so as to play a character in the Trek sequel described simply as “strong.” Khan, who possesses super-human strength enough as to present a challenge to Spock (see: the linked set photos), fits that bill.
That’s all to say: it may not be a “shock,” but Cumberbatch as Khan looks like a pretty good bet right now. As to whether or not that’s a wise move on Abram and Co.’s part: Screen Rant‘s own Rob Keyes has already argued quite effectively how an alternative-verse version of Khan could indeed be a worthwhile creation (and not just a rehash of Montalban’s iteration of the character).
Spock Prime and Klingons To Appear in ‘Star Trek 2′?
Despite previous rumors that no cast members from the original Trek TV show will appear in the second installment in the rebooted Star Trek film series, Leonard Nimoy is reportedly set to reprise his turn as “Spock Prime.” This is based not only on word from insiders, but also Nimoy himself – who confirmed as much to CNN last week, and even released the following, curiosity-arousing Tweet recently:
I enjoy conversations with JJ Abrams and Zachary Quinto. Keeping up on their work. They are my friends. LLAP
Similarly, TrekMovie sources are indicating that the Klingons will also be showing up in Trek 2. Much like the “revelations” about Khan being the villain or Spock Prime returning, this doesn’t come as a huge surprise – seeing how the classic Trek baddies just missed making the cut for Abrams’ original Star Trek movie, as evidenced by this deleted scene featuring “mini-Klingons” (sorry, it’s only available for viewing on Youtube).
[SIDENOTE: If Joseph Gatt is indeed playing "the muscle" that works for Cumberbatch as Khan in Star Trek 2 (as we've speculated before), does that mean Gatt could be portraying a Klingon warrior? One has to wonder...]
If we assume that all of the above “rumors” are indeed accurate, then we’re still left with a situation virtually identical to that throughout production on, say, The Dark Knight Rises – namely, we still have no idea yet how all these Trek 2 ingredients (Khan, Spock Prime, Klingons, young Spock traversing a volcano, etc.) fit together. Suffice it to say, Trek fans should have plenty to talk while we wait for more concrete details about the picture.
What are your thoughts on all of the aforementioned rumors? Are you happy/enraged that Khan could indeed be the villain in Star Trek 2? Sound off in the comments section.
The film brings back the entire crew of the USS Enterprise, including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho and Anton Yelchin, along with newcomers such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Noel Clarke, Alice Eve, Peter Weller and Joseph Gatt.
Star Trek 2 flies into theaters around the U.S. on May 17th, 2013.