Cagey Abrams won't admit that Cumberbatch is Trek 2's villain

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Dec 16, 2012

Now that we're over the initial thrill of learning that Benedict Cumberbatch has landed a role in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek sequel, it's time to start wondering what exactly he'll be doing in the flick. When the news came down, we heard Cumberbatch was the flick's villain, but while he's not denying it, Abrams himself won't admit that the Sherlock star is actually Trek 2's baddie.

In a new interview covering both his new TV series Alcatraz and the Trek sequel, Abrams noted that shooting on the flick is (finally) starting this Thursday, and then talk turned to casting. When asked what will be different now that Cumberbatch is in the role Benicio Del Toro almost landed, Abrams said that—while the actor may have changed—the role remains the same.

"We haven't made any changes because of casting," he said.

On the heels of chatting about how awesome Cumberatch's name is (because, come on, how can you not?), Abrams was asked just what it was about the rising British star that made him a good fit for the villain role in the Trek sequel. His response was much less direct than the answer he gave about casting:

"Who said he's our villain?"

Well, that's odd. We were hearing for weeks about Del Toro's possible casting as the flick's villain, and then we learned that Cumberbatch had definitely landed the role. Rumors of exactly what the role is may have changed along the way, but the one word that seems to have always stayed the same is "villain."

This could just be a case of Abrams being playful for interviewers, and he's certainly not openly denying that Cumberbatch is a villain, but this might mean there's more to the character than evil. Eric Bana's Nero in the first film was nasty from the get-go, but what if there's something more in store for this character?

Whatever Cumberbatch's role might be, Abrams seems thrilled to be working with him.

"He's a genius. Honestly, he's just an incredible actor," Abrams said. "If you've seen his work in Sherlock, he's just got incredible skills. He's an amazing stage actor. He did amazing work [on stage] in Frankenstein. He's brilliant. You try to cast people who are great. We got lucky."

(via Collider)