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After an extensive search for Latino and Spanish-speaking actors to play an unnamed villain in Star Trek 2, Paramount and J.J. Abrams had a hard time convincing speculators that Khan Noonien Singh, made famous by Ricardo Montalban’s portrayal in 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, would not be the film’s central villain. The eventually casting of BBC’s Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch seemed to quell the rumor mill, but it came back earlier this week.
Now, TrekMovie.com reports that Cumberbatch, who Abrams recently said blew him and producers away with an audition he recorded on his phone, will indeed be playing Khan, who in the TV series and films is something of a supersoldier from the past. The site also confirms the recent rumors that Leonard Nimoy will cameo once again as Spock Prime and then goes on to mention which famous Star Trek race will figure prominently in the sequel.
Given that we’ve seen images of Cumberbatch wearing a Starfleet uniform (see above), TrekMovie speculates that Khan’s origin story has been retooled for the puposes of the reboot, which would be unsurprising. With the 2009 film explaining discrepancies to the series and films through use of a time rift, Khan’s story becomes fair game.
As for the Spock news, Nimoy had previously said he was content letting Abrams and co. take the franchise to the final frontier, but sources confirm the recent rumors that he filmed scenes for the new movie. His appearance will be a record eighth for the “Star Trek” films.
Lastly, the fan site reports that we will finally see Abrams’ take on Klingons. The USS Enterprise‘s adverserial race was supposed to be featured in a scene in the 2009 film in which they capture Eric Bana’s villain, Nero, but the scene was deleted and relegated to the DVD/Blu-ray. There is no danger of that happening this time around.