May 1 2012 3:06pm

Red Alert! Star Trek Spoiler! Benedict Cumberbatch’s Villain Revealed

Coming exclusively from Trek Movie today, “sources” have revealed who Benedict Cumberbatch is playing in the new Star Trek movie. This seems like it is probably true, though has not been confirmed by J.J. Abrams, Orci, Kurtzman,Cumberbatch, or Paramount pictures.


Still, if you don’t want to know, don’t click below the cut.

Red Alert! Spoilers ahead.


KHHHHHHHHHHHAAANNNNNNN! Yep. It’s Khan. According to this article, Benedict Cumberbatch is playing the famous genetically engineered tyrant, Khan Noonien Singh.

The movie is also apparently featuring Klingons. Meanwhile that pesky rumor of Nimoy showing up as old Spock is also persistent.

Update from Comic Book Movie:  “deep space smackdown between Kirk and Khan in space suits. ”

All right, everyone. What do we think of this? Upset? Happy? Wishing he was playing V’Ger instead?  Wishing they’d cast one of these great Indian actors instead? The game is on!

(Note: this is still unconfirmed from official sources. We will update you when and if it is.)


Paul Weimer
1. PrinceJvstin

So many other choices and possibilities. Disappointed is the understated way of saying it.
Lee Giorno
2. LGiorno
Epic Fail.

I was hoping for Sybok...
Michael Grosberg
4. Michael_GR
For the next movie, maybe they can get Conan Obrien to play Geordy LaForge.
Chris Hawks
5. SaltManZ
I'll repost my comment from Facebook:
Sigh. In theory, I like the idea that, hey, Khan's still frozen out there somewhere in this new alt-Trekverse. But haven't The Powers That Be figured out yet that, outside of WRATH OF KHAN, Star Trek movie villains have all been absolute failures? Oh, wait, that must be what they're banking on. Double sigh.
James Goetsch
6. Jedikalos
Cumberbatch as Kahn? That is too hilarious to be true. Debonair, handsome, INDIAN lady-killer Kahn? Hahahahahahahahaha. Perhaps more lens flare will make it more plausible . . .
7. Atomische
I was hoping that the "alternative timeline" conceit meant they would avoid rehashing old villains and storylines.

Who will play Harcourt Fenton Mudd?
8. tigeraid
Getting a white British guy to play a 21st century Sikh named Khan Sing... I normally think complaints about whitewashing are stupid, but OBVIOUS WHITEWASHING IS OBVIOUS.
Cait Glasson
9. CaitieCat
Damnit, I love Cumberbatch, but Khan Noonien FREAKING SINGH, people. It CRIES OUT for a dark-skinned, mustachioed giant of a Sikh warrior, rather than a sort of effete Englishman (whom I love, but effete is not a bad word for him).

Sigh. Once again, movie producers bank on our racism. :/
Mike Conley
10. NomadUK
If true — though the mind boggles, really — it's not only just plain racist and stupid, but so utterly banal and lacking in imagination as to ... well, as to completely justify the opinion I formed of J J Abrams after his first Star Trek film.

Maybe it would be best to just let the franchise die (and if this doesn't kill it off, nothing will) for 50 years or so and try again.
11. benj
This is outrageous! The idea of an Indian being played by a white guy is completely ridiculous. Everyone knows he's supposed to be played by a Mexican.
12. mikers123
Has Abrahms even seen Nicholas Meyer's Wrath of Kahn? Arguably one of the BEST movies of the original series and the first one to bring an audience BACK to the theaters...who will they find to play Commander Kruge when they re-hash Star Trek 3? Or will Spock fail in saving the ship this time and will it kill this patent cash grab of a "new" Trek franchise? Honestly, I hope Spock fails this time around... I really do.
13. Darth Touma
They must expect Trek fans to be such lemmings that they just fall into line because of the label.. This movie is basically geared to shallow "fans" who watched and claimed to love Enterprise and who say that their favorite episode is The Trouble with Tribbles..

In other words.. "Fans" with no real grasp of the depth and beauty in the Trek 'verse
Ben Goodman
14. goodben
Most people here seem to be forgetting that Northern Indians are "white guys." They come from the same racial stock as Europeans (hence Indo-European for the broad class of languages that English among others belongs to). I had a Pakastani roommate in college (his last name was Khan, by the way--a very common name) that could have passed for European. What you're quibbling about is similar to complaining that they got an German to play the part of an Italian.

Now if Khan was supposed to be Southern Indian, that would be stretching credibility.
F Shelley
15. FSS
oh dear lord please no...

i guess they have to. they already used most of the TOS cast's catch phrases...
Chris Hawks
16. SaltManZ
From the little I've read, it sounds like they tried auditioning a number of more "ethnic-y" actors, until Cumberbatch blew them away with his reading.
James Whitehead
17. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
Couldn't just go old school & bring on the Klingons? Really?

Just shows such a lack or creativity and originality.

And I thought a Spiderman reboot was devoid of originality...

jon meltzer
18. jmeltzer
No ideas at all, and it will make millions.
19. liarliarpantsonfire
What little liars they are! In January J.J. Abrams flat out denied that Khan would be the villian! http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/1156558/jj_abrams_denies_khan_rumour_for_star_trek_sequel.html
20. pwl
What little liars they are!
Actually, all Abrams said was "not true" to the rumor that Benicio Del Toro would be playing Khan. There's no lie, there. Del Toro never signed anything.

People on the interwebs really do infer too much from far too little information, and get themselves too worked up over the results.
21. markerikson
Before the Abrams movie, the only thing I liked about Star Trek was the Kirk and Spock relationship - mostly because I love William Shatner, he's awesome.

But the Abrams movie made me a huge fan, and I can't wait for the next one.

I don't like them casting a white guy as an Indian character - that sucks - but I'm not going to let it ruin what will hopefully be an awesome movie. At least as awesome as the last one.
Marc Gioglio
22. Fuzzix
So, can anyone explain to me how this pansy reject Kirk stands a chance against an all-around bad-ass Khan? Seriously, this new Kirk does not have an "I will always win mentality"-The single biggest factor in Kirk's ability to defeat Khan-and instead has an "I will do stuff that screws with your plans." Heck, I don't even think This Kirk could beat Khan the first time around, let alone a Genesis/rvenge driven Khan.
This is the reason the reboot fails. Kirk is not Kirk. He is not a win at all odds person. He is a whiny unlikable brat.
23. emeraldcite
I was really hoping Cumberbatch was going to play VGER.
Jeff Schweer
24. JeffS.
Alternate timeline means you could do something different. Like, I don't know, maybe find destroyed fragments of the Botany Bay ship. Spock looks it up as a historical reference as part of the hook being...
Something else entirely.
That way you get a nod to the TOS timeline and create an exciting NEW adventure.
Sadly, creation is a lacking commodity in Hollywood. Retreading the tire so it will run another 50,00 miles is so much better. Not.

I won't be seeing this one in the theater and probably won't bother to stream it later. I hate the fact that I've lost interest in Star Trek. I was 9 years old when TOS showed up. Die hard fan for years. Now, meh.
Shelly wb
25. shellywb
I'm going to pretend this isn't true, at least until I hear some official word. Then I can stop having visions of Lady Gaga taking over the role of Sulu (... though I'd dearly love to see George Takei doing Bad Romance.)
26. a1ay
The idea of an Indian being played by a white guy is completely
ridiculous. Everyone knows he's supposed to be played by a Mexican.

And the American captain's played by a Canadian. And the French captain's played by a Brit, and the Scottish engineer's played by an American (like the Russian deck officer). And the Japanese helmsman has an Philippine surname and is played by a Korean-American.

Meanwhile, we get historically inept suggestions that it would somehow be completely inoffensive to have a Sikh Indian character played by a Muslim Pakistani actor, as long as they were both roughly the same Pantone colour...
27. wiredog
Atomische @7
Cumberbatch would make an awesome Harcourt Fenton Mudd.
28. Andrew S. Balfour
@alay #26

James Doohan was Canadian, not American. He's ours and you can't have him!
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
29. tnh
Benedict Cumberbatch has a track record of playing hard-to-imagine characters, and he does look slightly inhuman, so I'll reserve judgment.

Shellywb, you haz broken my brain.
Ellen Cheeseman-Meyer
30. EllenMCM
I love Bernard Cumberbatch. I want him to come to my house so I can slice bread with his cheekbones. I think his interpretation of Khan is bound to be fascinating, though he doesn't have the guns to compete with Ricardo Montalbahn.

At the moment, my personal rage in re. whitwashing is entirely focused on Johnny Depp's portrayal of Tonto in the upcoming Lone Ranger movie as based on a painting of an imagined exotic vision of an Indian produced by a white guy.
Mike Conley
31. NomadUK
Johnny Depp's portrayal of Tonto in the upcoming Lone Ranger movie

I really do just give up.
Mordicai Knode
32. mordicai
30. EllenMCM
31. NomadUK

I know, I don't even. I don't even. I...why. How do...I just...I don't even. Why would he...no. I don't even.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
33. tnh
The Johnny Depp/Tonto thing doesn't bear thinking about while this is all the information we have on it. Put it aside until we know more. At the moment, all it's doing is sucking up mindspace.
Mike Conley
34. NomadUK
Oh, trust me, I'm not giving it any mindspace at all. I did this. And that's it.
35. stwall
Honestly, when I saw that Benedict had been cast as the villain, my mind went immediately to Gary Mitchell. Especially since Abrams had been hinting they were going with someone unconventional from the TOS canon. Gary Mitchell would be far better and present a great chance for Kirk to have some internal struggles as his friend turns from harmless to all powerful and viewing humans as ants before him. Cumberbatch could have played that masterfully.
Alex Jarvis
36. Menalaus
Please don't be true. Please. I love Benedict Cumberbatch. He's a wonderful actor with real skill in subtlety and flare. I was really hoping for an original villain that would capitalize on his skills. I don't need a rehash of an old villian who was already perfectly portrayed once...
37. Kaprice
Hey, I like Benedict a LOT, but Khan he is NOT. He'd bake a perfect Romulan. But, NOTHING about Benedict suggests genetically engineered perfection. Nope.
38. warpdad
I really can't believe this. I think it's a ploy from Paramount to have people talk about Star Trek (whether for good or bad).
I'm of stwall's opinion that Cumberbatch would do a great Gary Mitchell. I would fit the timeline (having just come out of Starfleet Academy and all). Could be fun if done well.
Ellen Cheeseman-Meyer
39. EllenMCM
That is a great idea. They did that episode in the comics, and it was a good hook for the series.
40. SueQ
re: the comment about the 'white guy playing a Khan from India'.
You do realize that the original Kha-aa-aaah-n was played by a guy (the lovely and remarkably talented Richardo Montalban), who was born in Mexico City. I can't wait to see who replaces William Campbell as the Squire of Gothos-- if that is possible. Tribbles forever!!!
41. Galadriel
So much casting controversy that no one's speculating about the possible plot. Three important words have now been mentioned together, folks: Genetically engineered. Klingons.

Think about it. Now, aren't you even more upset??
42. Spoon
*Sigh* I really enjoyed this film, and BC's performance, right up until I got home and a friend pointed the 'Khan' issue out to me.

Forgive me, I never saw 'Space Seed' and I always thought Khan was just some crazy space/ super soldier person out for Kirk. Race never once crossed my mind.

Then I did the research, read various blogs and now I feel like I've been duped into handing over cash to a bunch of white washing gits.

I can't even recommend it to my friends now, it's that bad. I really just want someone from the production team and JJ Abrams to step up and address this issue. Because I seriously wanna know what the hell they were thinking.

Although one theory crops up in my seriously depressed head as to why Khan was used.

Simply put, in the first movie no one knew who the hell Nero was. He was a bland, non entity of a villian, with no connection to the old Trek. Shame really. Nice concept, just didn't really work and these films rely heavily on nostalgia to bring in the monnies..er critical acclaim.

Hence Khan.

Even non Trekkies have heard of Khan.

So maybe originally they did have a character like Gary Mitchel in mind, but Kirk never yelled "GAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRY!" did he?

Thus name's were changed and entire characters back stories and skin colour are changed and many people are angered, upset or just plain thrown into a fit of despair.

In short, someone needs to say something.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
43. AlirozTheConfused
If they can paint him the right colour and teach him how to act instead of mugging the camera with his puppy dog eyes, and if they can give him the Hamtastic Voice Training and the physical acting of Milking The Giant Cow and if he gets a haircut, it'll all be good.

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