J.J. Abrams Says Benicio Del Toro Won't Play Khan in Star Trek 2
12.04.11 by Ryan
No plot details have been offered yet about Star Trek 2 (working title), the highly-anticipated sequel to Paramount's 2009 reboot of the beloved franchise, but, if fans had their way, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) would be facing off against his most bitter nemesis: Khan Noonien Singh, the genetically-augmented superhuman played by Ricardo Montalbán in a 1967 episode of the original Star Trek series episode and again in the 1982 movie sequel Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
In 2009, Star Trek screenwriter Roberto Orci said that Khan's chances of showing up as the villain in the sequel were "50/50," which only fueled fan speculation that Benicio del Toro (Traffic) would play the role after the Academy Award–winning actor was reported to be director J.J. Abrams's "choice" to play the villain in the forthcoming sequel. Abrams confirmed his interest in the actor, but wouldn't reveal the role he was up far. "It's too early to talk about what the role is," Abrams said.
Latino Review feels like the time is right, and recently reported that their sources say del Toro is a lock for the role of Khan in the sequel. HitFix decided to ask Abrams about the report, to which the director said only two words: "Not true."
That's a relief, since we were still holding out hope that Nestor Carbonell, who played Richard on the Abrams-produced TV show Lost and Mayor Garcia in the recent Batman movies, will eventually play the role as was rumored last year.
Still, Abrams' denial of the Khan rumor will only further online speculation. Last month, Think McFly Think reported that the Klingons will "play a prominent role" in the sequel, as they will be a "nomadic sect of warrior aliens causing trouble for the Federation." Del Toro could play one of the Klingons, should the rumor be true.
More villain possibilities come from Badass Digest (via CinemaBlend), who reported back in October that Khan would not be the villain and instead the crew of the Enterprise would go up against either "Harry Mudd or Trelane or Gary Mitchell or the Talosians or the Horta." So, basically, it could be anyone, including Tribbles or the Gorn. Romulans are likely out of the mix, since they were used in the previous movie.
Hopefully, screenwriters Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof have something even more original in mind for Kirk, Spock (Zachary Quinto), Bones (Karl Urban) and the rest of the crew when production begins early next year.