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Benedict Cumberbatch — the man with perhaps the most British name ever — is having quite a moment right now. You can currently find him on the big screen in both Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and War Horse or on the small screen (either your TV in the UK or your laptop if you're illegally downloading in the US) in the second series of the wildly entertaining Sherlock. Next year, you'll hear his voice in the The Hobbit: There and Back Again as both Smaug the dragon and the Necromancer. (Plus he's the second Google suggested search for "Benedict," right after Benedict Arnold. It's all happening for him.)
And now it looks like you'll be seeing him in the upcoming Star Trek sequel:
"Brit thesp Benedict Cumberbatch has been tapped to play the villain in J.J. Abrams’ STAR TREK 2 Variety's Jeff Sneider reports. Cumberbatch landed the role that Edgar Ramirez had auditioned for last month. Cumberbatch joins fellow Brit newcomers Noel Clarke and Alice Eve, as well as Peter Weller. Paramount had no comment on the casting."
Just a couple of months ago, the internet was on fire with rumors that not only was Benicio Del Toro cast as the main villain for the next film, but that villain was none other than Khan, the tyrant and warlord originally played by Ricardo Montalban. Even if you don't know Star Trek whatsoever, it's very likely you know this:
As it is with these announcements, no one will confirm who the villain will be. Abrams has given interviews denying Khan's appearance in the film, but he also once said (spoiler) that the people on Lost were not dead and in a kind of purgatory, so maybe take that with a grain of salt. Cumberbatch seems like an odd choice after Del Toro and Ramirez, but the man has a commanding presence and, it must be said, kind of an odd look (if the producers decide to ditch Khan and go the alien route). Well chosen, Star Trek casting director!