Just hours after word seeped out that a popular “Doctor Who” face was joining “Star Trek 2,” he was joined by yet another popular actor from across the pond.
Benedict Cumberbatch, the star of Steven Moffat’s modernized “Sherlock” series, has joined the cast of the upcoming “Star Trek” sequel, joining fellow country people Simon Pegg, Alice Eve, and Wednesday’s addition of Noel Clarke.
As usual, director J.J. Abrams’ camp won’t reveal exactly who Cumberbatch will play. However, TrekMovie is reporting that Cumberbatch will take over the key villain role that Benicio del Toro turned down last month.
Edgar Ramirez had been said to be up for the role in recent days, but Cumberbatch, according to the blog, “blew them all away” with his audition.
Cumberbatch is an extremely busy actor these days. Not only did he recently film a second season of the popular “Sherlock” series, but he also has joined his co-star Martin Freeman in “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” the second part of a two-part Lord of the Rings prequel series.
Casting has moved into high gear for “Star Trek 2,” especially with filming set to begin in less than two weeks. It’s rumored that the Big Bad role that Cumberbatch is filling could be Khan Noonien Singh, seen in another Star Trek sequel, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”
Cumberbatch has already starred in seven episodes of “Sherlock” in the title role, alongside Freeman, who plays Watson. Freeman has gained some serious attention of his own, earning a starring role in The Hobbit films as Bilbo Baggins. He’s already made some major waves with international audiences in Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” that was released on Christmas Day, as well as taking on the role of Peter Guillam in the Gary Oldman film “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”
Cumberbatch first entered the television and film scene in 2002 with the television movie “Fields of Gold” that also starred Anna Friel and Mark Strong. In 2003, he was part of the cast of the short-lived British television series “Fortysomething” that also starred “House M.D.’s” Hugh Laurie. A year later, he was taking on meatier roles, this time playing Stephen Hawking in the television film “Hawking” and Vincent Van Gogh in 2010 in the television movie “Van Gogh: Painted With Words.”
The actor won the lead role in “Sherlock” after Moffat (who also is the current showrunner of “Doctor Who”) and co-developer Mark Gatiss saw him in the 2007 film “Atonement.”
“Star Trek 2” is set to open in May 2013.