Star Trek has long been known for putting in some pretty big names as bad guys in its films. Who can forget Ricardo Montalban as Khan? Christopher Lloyd as Kruge? Christopher Plummer as Chang? Alice Krige as the Borg Queen? All of us as the people who killed the humpback whales?
OK, so maybe not all of the villains have been memorable. But “Star Trek 2” director J.J. Abrams looks to be one-upping himself from his past hire of Eric Bana as his next bad guy.
And the actor is? Benicio del Toro. What he will play exactly, no one knows. But speculation — based on past unconfirmed reports on what race the bad guys would be — is that he will follow Lloyd and Plummer as a Klingon.
Abrams was expected to offer del Toro the role as early as this past weekend, according to Variety, but no word has been released officially if that happened, or if it will even happen.
del Toro gained prominence in the 2000 film “Traffic,” but already had a long resume by then. He first appeared in the 1987 television show “Shell Game,” and followed it with a guest appearance in “Miami Vice” later that year. He lated appeared in “Usual Suspects” and “The Fan” before taking on the role of Franky Four Fingers in Guy Ritchie’s “Snatch.”
After his Oscar win for Best Supporting Actor for “Traffic,” del Toro started picking up a number of roles. He would even earn another Oscar nomination, this time for “21 Grams” with Sean Penn and Naomi Watts. Apparently, del Toro has a thing for working with ex-husbands of Madonna.
He just finished work on the film “Savages” with Oliver Stone, and is signed to appear in Martin Scorsese’s “Silence.” del Toro also is reportedly attached to “An Ex to Grind” with Cameron Diaz and “Making Jack Falcone,” which is still looking for a director.
Most of the rest of the cast is already in place for the next Star Trek film, although very little — if anything — of the story has been released quite yet. In fact, not even the name has been released, although it’s been made clear by Abrams that it won’t officially carry the working title “Star Trek 2” as its official title. However, that was no surprise.
Filming for “Star Trek 2” is expected to start early next year, and is geared up for a 2012 release (although that could get pushed to 2013).