Things are (finally) moving quickly on director J.J. Abrams' officially-untitled sequel, Star Trek 2. The main cast of the 2009 Trek franchise reboot is prepped to return for the delayed followup, while series newcomers like Alice Eve and Benicio Del Toro are likewise set to appear in the film.
Previous reports indicated there was one last significant role that needed to be cast for the new Star Trek movie: that of a sidekick to Del Toro's villain character (who, depending on who you believe, may or may not be Khan Noonien Singh). It now looks as though that part may be filled.
Variety has the scoop on Abrams bringing veteran fan-favorite Peter Weller on to play a part in his Trek sequel. The details of Weller's role are being kept under wraps for the time being; however, when you read between the lines, it seems reasonable to assume (at this juncture) that Weller has been brought on to portray a confidant of Del Toro's antagonistic onscreen counterpart in the movie.
It certainly wouldn't be the first "bad guy" role tackled by Weller, who previously played the terrorist Christopher Henderson on 24 and the corrupt cop Stan Liddy on Dexter - not to mention, the (semi-villainous) scientist Alistair Peck on an episode of Fringe. Weller is also known for his parts in cult sci-fi titles like The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension and Screamers. He's also an alumni of the Trek TV show universe, having portrayed the villainous John Frederick Paxton on two episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise.
Weller, of course, remains most famous for his turn as human-cop-turned-cyborg Alex J. Murphy in the first two entries in the RoboCop movie franchise - a series which, as many of you readers are undoubtedly well-aware, is currently in the process of being rebooted.
Abrams is well-renowned (or, if you will, infamous) for playing things close to the chest, and the Star Trek sequel is no exception. Both he and screenwriters/producers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Damon Lindelof are keeping their mouths shut when it comes to revealing any concrete details about the film's plot.
However, that scripting trio have admitted to viewing episodes of the original Star Trek TV series for inspiration - with Orci, specifically, having dropped the following tidbit about their collaborative writing approach:
“... Whereas the [2009 'Star Trek' reboot] was all about breaking free from “Star Trek” and its canon, now that we can do whatever we want, we still want it to feel like good ol’ “Star Trek” even though it’s a new story.”
It's comments like that which has only fueled the fire that Del Toro is portraying an old-school Trek baddie - be it Khan, another original series character like Harry Mudd or Gary Mitchell, or even a traditional (overused?) villainous extraterrestrial (ex. a Klingon commander).
All shall be revealed (for certain) when Star Trek 2 flies into 2D and 3D theaters around the U.S. on May 17th, 2013.