<i>Sherlock's</i> Benedict Cumberbatch Lands Villain Role in <i>Star Trek 2</i>

On the heels of yesterday's announcement about Noel Clarke, director J.J. Abrams has added Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch to the growing cast of Paramount Pictures' Star Trek sequel.

Although Deadline reports it's unknown which lead role the 35-year-old British actor will play, Variety contends it's the main villain, the part that Edgar Ramirez auditioned for last month after Benicio del Toro withdrew from negotiations. The news may finally lay to rest persistent rumors that Khan would be the film's antagonist.

An actor in high demand, Cumberbatch can now be seen in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, War Horse and the second season of BBC's Sherlock. He'll also play the dragon Smaug, using motion-capture technology, and provide the voice of the Necromancer in Peter Jackson's two-movie adaptation of The Hobbit.

Cumberbatch joins returning stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho and Anton Yelchin, as well as newcomers Clarke, Alice Eve and Peter Weller.

The sequel to Abrams' 2009 blockbuster franchise reboot -- it grossed more than $385 million worldwide -- Star Trek 2 is set to begin filming this month for a May 17, 2013, release.

The Rise of Skywalker: Wait, What’s That Dagger Rey Is Holding?

More in Movies