[UPDATE: Several new Star Trek 2 set photos have been added to our gallery.]
Principal photography on J.J. Abrams' untitled Star Trek sequel commenced back in January of this year, with the main cast from his popular Trek franchise reboot in tow for the U.S.S. Enterprise's next mission. Joining the revitalized crew on their new adventure are such acting talents as Alice Eve (She's Out of My League) and Joseph Gatt (Thor), alongside fan-favorites like Peter Weller (RoboCop) and the increasingly-popular Benedict Cumberbatch in the undisclosed villain role heavily speculated to be that of Khan Noonien Singh.
The first photos from the Star Trek 2 set have been released online; while they don't provide any concrete answers to the riddle of who Cumberbatch is playing - or what the plot cooked up by Abrams and his screenwriting team encompasses - these images DO provide a sneak peek at what the Sherlock star will look like in the film.
MTV is the source of these set pics for the Star Trek followup, and the publication states that the scene being shot here involves a battle atop "a Space Barg." As mentioned before, these images offer little to no information about the hand of cards Abrams has been playing so close to the chest. That is, unless you count the "revelation" that Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana) won't be getting along so well with Cumberbatch's villainous onscreen counterpart.
UPDATE: We've added six more images from the Star Trek sequel set which further depict a fistfight between Quinto as Spock and Cumberbatch's antagonist, and feature additional photos of Saldana as Uhura firing her phaser at the latter (along with a pic of Quinto and Cumberbatch's stunt doubles).
See what we mean by checking out the first Star Trek 2 set photos below:
Cumberbatch appears to be wearing a black version of the standard Starfleet uniform under a metallic silver overcoat, which lends itself to all sorts of possibilities as to what his character might be (a spy? a mole? a traitor? etc.). Since Paramount has yet to announce an official title for Star Trek 2 - much less any information about the movie's storyline or new characters - it's all fair game right now, as far as speculation and wild theories go.
For some additional insight (or lack thereof) on the Trek sequel, check out this interview with co-screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci about the pressures that come with developing a followup to the critically-acclaimed box office success that was the 2009 Trek franchise reboot.
Star Trek 2 is slated to hit theaters (2D and 3D) around the U.S. on May 17th, 2013.