Star Trek news is flying fast and furious lately, so much so that it for some of you it’s probably becoming hard to keep track. At the end of this post we’ve put together a comprehensive update for you, to help keep it all in line. Right now what you need to know though, is that Benicio del Toro is out.
Del Toro had been in talks with Paramount Pictures and Star Trek director JJ Abrams to join the cast of the Trek sequel as the film’s big bad villain. Just exactly what kind of villain he was supposed to play was a mystery (rumor has it that he was going to be Khan), but whatever or whoever the villain is, Benicio won’t be the guy playing him. Vulture says Del Toro backed out of the film last Wednesday, unable to come to an agreement on how much he’d be paid for the project.
The timing here is interesting. Del Toro dropped out of the film shortly before that awful Khan is the villain rumor started circulating. Trek director Abrams has denied that rumor, but Abrams has been known to lie to keep a secret before, and there was a secondary confirmation of the rumor earlier today in the Vulture story. It’s starting to seem increasingly likely that the next Star Trek will abandon any pretense of taking the franchise in new directions, and simply reuse it’s most famous characters.
If that turns out to be true, you have to wonder if perhaps that original Khan rumor was something leaked by his people, torqued off that Abrams refused to pay Del Toro what he wanted. If Abrams and his team really are so completely lazy that they’re using Khan as the movie’s bad guy, then Del Toro… good move getting the hell away from this creatively bankrupt disaster in progress.
It’s also worth noting that earlier today Peter Weller joined the cast. Could he be Del Toro’s replacement? No one’s talking, but we’ll let you know when we know.
So to recap, here’s who we know will be in the next Star Trek so far:
Chris Pine… James T. Kirk
Zachary Quinto… Spock
Karl Urban… Leonard McCoy
Simon Pegg… Montgomery Scott
Anton Yelchin… Pavel Chekov
John Cho… Hikaru Sulu
Zoe Saldana… Uhura
Peter Weller… unspecified role
Alice Eve… unspecified role