JJ Abrams' Star Trek sequel is easily the movie that I'm most excited about which has yet to actually begin filming. It took forever just to get Abrams officially on board as the director, and otherwise it's been largely quiet for the last few months as Kurtzman, Orci and Lindeloff have been working on the actual script.
So, of course, I go on vacation and all hell breaks loose.
Abrams had previously mentioned Benicio Del Toro as someone he was interested in for the villain role, but was terribly non-specific about who or what that villain would be. Many (including myself) were banking on him playing a Klingon warrior. I liked that idea because, while there are plenty of great Klingons from the original series, you can just as easily create a new character from scratch. Plus Del Toro kind of looks like a Klingon already.
So while I was cruising through the Caribbean, Latino Review asserted that Del Toro was definitely in the movie and that he was playing the role of Khan, made famous by Ricardo Montalbahn and his hairless chest & mullet. While LR tends to have a pretty good track record with these sorts of things (they correctly called Zod as the villain in Snyder's upcoming Man Of Steel), Hitfix wisely followed up with Abrams, who responded simply that the story was "not true," leading Trekkies everywhere scratching their heads in confusion. The issue was finally clarified earlier this week by Vulture, who reported that Khan is indeed the film's villain, but that Del Toro's deal had fallen apart.
So, pending an official confirmation from Abrams and/or Paramount, I guess we'll be getting Khan, which is a shame for a few reasons. First of all, the whole point of creating a new continuity is that it allows you to create brand new stories and characters, setting off in whatever direction Abrams sees fit. Immediately rehashing old baddies feels more than a tad lazy. Besides, while Khan was awesome in Star Trek II, his original appearance in the episode "Space Seed" was good but not altogether remarkable. And besides, WHAT ABOUT THE DAMN KLINGONS? They're easily the most recognizable/iconic alien race in all of Star Trek, and with good reason: because they're fucking badass. Is it really going to take three movies before we get to see Chris Pine match wits and wills with Bird Of Prey? Or, hey, how about inventing a brand new alien threat? There's no need to stick to canon here, let's get creative!
Here's the good news: There were two more additions to the cast last week. Smoking hot Alice Eve (who was almost Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class) will play an unspecified, probably original role ('bout time Kirk got some action) while Peter Weller (ROBOCOP!) has signed on for what is assumed to be sidekick role to whoever steps in to replace Del Toro.
In a related story, I am apparently no longer allowed to go on vacation.