So, we still don’t know what role Benicio Del Toro will be playing in J.J. Abrams’ follow-up to 2009’s Star Trek reboot, and though he’s ostensibly set to play the next movies villain, Abrams has confirmed it won’t be a new version of Ricardo Montalban’s Khan. Now we need to add another cast member to the pile of mystery that is turning out to be Star Trek 2, as legendary actor and historian Peter Weller has just signed on for a “principal” but as yet nameless role.
I can’t imagine who he might be playing, but of course you know Peter Weller as cinema’s Robocop and Buckaroo Bonzai, and more recently in the best episode of “Fringe” and season-long arcs in “24” and “Dexter,” so anything less than something vaguely esoteric will be somewhat disappointing. But really, his addition to the new Trek universe is nothing but good news for those who have a rooting interest in the next step of the franchise. And those who just appreciate badasses doing badass things.
Weller and Del Toro are also joined by actress Alice Eve in the unknown character category, though if I had to guess, I’d say Eve is set to play Yeoman Janice Rand, or possibly Nurse Chapel, from the original 1960s “Star Trek” TV series. Honestly, though, before today I kept confusing Eve for fellow attractive blonde actress Sarah Wright, but it turns out they’re entirely different people. That said, I could see both easily playing a pretty decent unicorn opposite Robocop if Abrams and screenwriter Damon Lindelof decided to really tip the apple cart and just give in to the collective ironic will of the Internet.
So, it’s looking like Abrams’ confirmation that Del Toro would not be playing well-known villain Khan in Star Trek 2, merely meant that Del Toro would not be playing any role in the movie whatsoever, as talks to finalize a deal to land the actor have apparently broken down. As such, this is increasing the intensity of the rumors that Khan is indeed the movie’s villain, by way of some Man Of Steel logic — the more they deny the presence of a familiar foe (in that case General Zod), the more likely that character will reappear as the big bad. But, of course, nothing is actually, y’know, known by anyone other than Abrams and his screenwriters. The same still holds true for the roles to be played by Weller and Eve, and the basic outlines of the plot, as well. Apparently not even the principal returning cast have read the script, yet.
What’s that old saying, No news is no news? Sorry to get your hopes up. But I can think of worse things than a possible mix-n-match of “Space Seed” and Wrath of Khan. Harry Mudd and Tribbles come readily to mind…
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and his wares can be purchased here. He wishes History would play more of Weller’s docs instead of that “Ancient Aliens” tripe, but sadly, the latter gets consistently more viewers. Yes, millions of people can absolutely be wrong.