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Benicio Del Toro is Abrams’ Pick for ‘Star Trek 2’ Villain

Once producer/director J.J. Abrams finished working on and promoting Super 8, he finally committed to a Star Trek sequel as his next project. With the cast and crew of the U.S.S Enterprise locked in, the only remaining question was which new faces we might see posing a threat to intergalactic peace.

It seems that Abrams has found his film’s main villain in Benicio Del Toro. Variety reports than the Sin City and The Wolfman star is expected to a receive a formal offer for the role in the next few days. He has met with Abrams to discuss the role, which he apparently knows nothing about in effort to keep it secret.

Presumably, Abrams and writers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof are the only ones aware of who the villain is. As the original second “Trek” film featured similar Spanish-speaker Ricardo Montalban as Khan, most would love to speculate Del Toro will don the mantle of the infamous villain, but considering the 2009 film invented a villain in Nero (Eric Bana), don’t expect Khan to be the guy. Plus, the story of Khan dealt with a semi-retired Captain Kirk, a character who’s still very young in the current timeline of the Paramount reboot.

My personal guess — based on Del Toro’s unique visage — is the actor will portray a Klingon. The Klingon race was markedly absent from the 2009 film despite being a favorite race of probably a majority of “Star Trek” fans.

Production on “Star Trek 2” is expected to begin next year. No release date has been announced since the film was booted from its original June 2012 release date for G.I Joe: Retaliation, but the expectation is Paramount will schedule it for 2013 as the studio has no major tentpoles set for that summer.

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