Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch has been on a roll since playing detective Holmes in the acclaimed BBC series. Over recent months he’s appeared in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, and Peter Jackson give him the duty of portraying both Smaug the Dragon (with motion-capture) and The Necromancer in The Hobbit movies.
Now Cumberbatch is about to embark on his most high-profile role to date by taking on a lead role in J.J Abrams’ Star Trek sequel.
According to Deadline who broke the news there’s no word on whether he’ll be a hero or villain, but Variety’s Jeff Sneider says Cumberbatch will be playing the villain, said to be the same role Benicio Del Toro turned down and Edgar Ramirez recently auditioned for. At the time it was suggested the villain would be the genetically engineered superhuman Khan, who Ricardo Montalban famously played in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but there has been no confirmation to date.
Shooting will begin this month and will finish in June. Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin and John Cho are all returning, along with new additions Alice Eve and Peter Weller. The sequel will be released by Paramount on May 17th, 2013.