Ever since it was announced that Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch had landed a role in J.J. Abrams upcoming Star Trek sequel, the internets have been abuzz with speculation over what role he might be playing. Is he playing Khan? Is he playing the same role that was rumored to be going to Benecio del Toro a few weeks back? Is there a more British name in all of creation than “Benedict Cumberbatch?” The actor was at the Golden Globes last night, and while reporters naturally grilled him about his Trek involvement, the man who would be Sherlock was expectedly tight lipped.
MTV News caught Cumberbund — Cinnabon — Cabbagepatch — whatever his name is, they cornered Sherlock on the red carpet at last night’s Golden Globe Awards, and one of their reporters got right to the point and asked if he was playing the villain in Trek 2. Cumberbatch was quick to give a political and entirely noncommital answer. “I don’t think we do know that, actually. That’s just supposition.” It’s the same sort of coy response Abrams himself gave a few weeks ago, when he said, “Who said he’s playing our villain?”
Cumberbatch did provide one small, possibly significant tidbit. He said that he’s been “working out nonstop” because the role is very physical. That doesn’t definitively reveal anything, but I can see that tidbit being seized upon by the “they’re redoing Khan” camp, since Khan Noonien Singh — at least as played by Ricardo Montalban — was a genetically engineered he-man in peak physical condition. If Cumberbatch is playing Khan, and assuming they’re not radically reimagining the character, he’d certainly have to beef up a little to pull it off. On the other hand, he could being playing an entirely different character. Khan doesn’t have the market cornered on chiseled space abs, after all. Cumberbatch may just want to look good on screen without having to borrow Shatner’s old girdle.
The actor said that he’s due to begin shooting his part in Trek next week, so stay tuned to GFR for further updates. Khaaaaaaaaaaannnn!