Benedict Cumberbatch Is Star Trek 2’s Villain

Here’s cause for excitement for J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek sequel, set to debut May 2013: British actor Benedict Cumberbatch has signed on to join returning cast members Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Co. Better news: He’s reportedly playing the villain. If your first thought is “Benewhat Cumberwho?” see why you should take this as very good news after the jump.

Thirty five year-old Cumberbatch has been active in theater, TV, and film for a decade, but had a banner last few years with roles in The Whistleblower, BBC’s Sherlock, and this awards season’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and War Horse. His acerbic take on Sherlock Holmes is probably his best known and best loved work of late, but his turn as Gary Oldman’s skeptical but loyal right hand man in Tinker Tailor is another recent highlight; next year he’ll pull double duty in The Hobbit voicing the dragon Smaug and the Necromancer for Peter Jackson.

(If you were lucky/smart enough to catch last year’s brilliant British satire Four Lions, you might recall Cumberbatch’s cameo as a frustrated negotiator trying in vain to break through to a bunch of inept terrorists.)

There's a somewhat delicate, dangerous edge to Cumberbatch that could play well against the all-American machismo of Pine's Kirk in Star Trek 2, though details on Cumberbatch's character have yet to be revealed. And look! Tinker Tailor co-star Tom Hardy, another Brit breakout, had this to say of Cumberbatch’s acting prowess from back when they starred in the 2007 BBC biopic Stuart: A Life Backwards.

So take it from fellow one-time Trek villain Hardy (Star Trek Nemesis) and the growing legion of stateside Cumberbatch fanatics: This casting sounds like a promising move on Abrams’ part. What say you, Trekkers?

[Deadline, Variety]


  • a fan says:

    He's the best actor in the world. So I have no worries that he wont blwo the others off the screen.

  • Orly says:

    Benny's running in the Olympics now Tom.

  • Bonnie says:

    For any out there who haven't seen "Sherlock"-the re-runs will start on Jan. 15 on PBS..check out the schedule. The new season of Sherlock will be on in May. It has already gained fantastic reviews for it's first show in Britain and 2nd is on the way. This is a great performance. But then he has never given anything less.
    He will be, as many have said, "a joy to work with" and he will also be completely involved and give total dedication to the role.
    Also on the internet are his performances in "Hawking" and Vincent Van Gogh - should be checked out.

  • John Berggren says:

    Probably not best to use Tom Hardy as a reference point for good Trek villains. Thanks to Christopher Nolan for showing me what a remarkable actor he is, but if I'd only known him from Star Trek : Necrosis, I'd never aim to see his films.

  • j'accuse! says:

    With all that sputtering and giggling and generally aimless longwindedness, what is Tom Hardy? The Brit James Franco? Charming of course, if that's what you're into.

  • Happygolucky says:

    There's something Dennis Quaid about his smile in that photo. . .

    I hope they give Karl Urban plenty of screen time - he was great!

  • Baco Noir says:

    And you didn't even mention his brilliant double turn this year (alternating night after night with Johnny Lee Miller) as Frankenstein and the monster in West End's National Theatre production of Frankenstein, directed by Danny Boyle (it showed twice in cinemas, via satellite, in movie theatres in North America). Truly a great actor.

  • bud.e says:

    cumberbatch is an awful sherlock. simply the worst casting ever. FACT!

  • RAY says:

    Any person hired by Steven "Dr. Who" Moffat producer of Sherlock has to be good. If you have not seen "sherlock" track it down you will be entertained

  • jess says:

    Best news ever! I've been obsessingly checking the Star Trek movie page on wikipedia and when I read that Cumberbatch is playing the villian, I blue myself!!! LOL! fandoms collide. So excited!!! (but we have to wait another 16 months? boo...)

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  • vange says:

    Zachary Quinto AND Benedict Cumberbatch in ONE movie? I might blow an artery.

  • Rolando says:

    I’m grtafuel you made the post. It’s cleared the air for me.

    • pat says:

      He is just utterly delightful. I'd like to see him in more things. He deserves more parts! I agree with Vange--Quinto and Cumberbatch in one more is going to be tough on the heart.

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