Despite J.J Abrams declaring that he’d “love” Benicio Del Toro to star as the villain in the Star Trek sequel, it won’t be happening. According to Vulture Paramount and the actor “couldn’t come to terms over monetary issues” so Abrams and the team are now searching for another actor to take on the role before filming begins next month.
The villain in the sequel has not yet been confirmed, however late last week Latino Review ran a story which seemed to confirm the villain would be Khan, the genetically engineered superhuman who Ricardo Montalban famously played in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. HitFix emailed Abrams to get confirmation and the director simply replied “not true”, however Vulture “hears from a highly placed source that Khan is indeed the film’s baddie”, so it looks like Abrams was trying to prevent word getting out while negotiations with Benicio Del Toro were still ongoing.
Though Del Toro won’t be appearing, former Robocop actor Peter Weller will be. Variety said his role is currently under-wraps, but it is believed to be a villain (possibly aligned with Khan). Weller’s casting comes after Alice Eve joined the cast last week as a potential love interest to Captain Kirk.
Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin and John Cho are all returning and the sequel will be released by Paramount on May 17th, 2013.