Benedict Cumberbatch to play villain in Star Trek sequel

Benedict Cumberbatch in Tinker Tailor Solider Spy

Benedict Cumberbatch is Sherlock, and now in Star Trek apparentlyFollowing this morning’s revelation that Noel Clarke was heading toward the Enterprise, Deadline reports that Benedict Cumberbatch has been hired to play the villain in J.J. Abrams as-yet-untitled Star Trek sequel.

As to who he’ll be playing, the source does not say. “No word yet on whether he’ll be a hero or villain”. However, Variety is saying that he won the villain role.

Cumberbatch was most recently seen in cinemas in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and briefly in War Horse, and will voice Smaug the Dragon and The Necromancer in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There And Back Again. He can currently be seen on the small screen in BBC’s Sherlock (pictured right), a modern day adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, opposite The Hobbit co-star Martin Freeman as Watson.

The casting was not expected at all, but he is a fine actor deserving of a major Hollywood role to see him break through, just as his War Horse co-star Tom Hiddleston did with Thor. Abrams’ choices to date have been on the money, and his latest leaning towards the British could either hint at a location or plot, or simply indicative of the British invasion of Hollywood in the last few years. Either way, this is terrific news.

Very few details have been released about the notorious secretive Abrams’ follow-up to his first hit, but Roberto Orci and co-writers Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof are currently working on at least the third draft of the film.

The sequel will begin shooting in January 2012 and is set for a release in 3D 17 May 2013 from Paramount.