J.J. Abrams is knee deep in prepping Star Trek 2, and Variety reports he’s courting Benicio del Torro to play the pic’s villain. The name, race, and role of the villain is being kept very hush hush, even del Torro doesn’t know the specifics. But the offers out there for him to take it, and he’d be foolish not to. After his take on The Wolfman tanked, he needs a career boost.
The knee jerk reaction is to assume he’s playing Khan. Khan is perhaps the best known villain in the original Trek cannon, and the Hispanic del Torro could certainly bring a gritty new take to Ricardo Montalban’s near-iconic performance. But Khan is the obvious choice, and Abrams probably has something else up his sleeve.
Abrams could instead be setting up Koloth, the Klingon warrior who squared of with Kirk in a few of the original Trek episodes and was intended to be the Joker to Kirk’s Batman if the series had continued. If so, Abrams would please the Trekkies who criticized his first film for being a bit too mainstream.
del Torro is expected to sign on the dotted line soon, and hopefully we’ll get more word on who he’s playing soon.