After months of speculation, it has been confirmed that actor Benedict Cumberbatch will appear in J.J Abram's Star Trek sequel as Khan, Capt. James T. Kirk's most memorable mortal enemy.
TrekMovie yesterday confirmed the rumour that the Doctor Who actor will play the Eugenics War leader. Cumberbatch's performance as a modern-day Sherlock Holmes on the BBC series Sherlock may have rocketed him the top of Hollywood wish-lists, but it was his blinding audition that reportedly landed him the part.
According to The New York Times, Cumberbatch taped his audition with an iPhone after receiving a call from the director last Christmas. He recalled that Abrams was "very interested" in him playing a "not-so-good guy", and became so excited by the phonecall that he "begged" his best friend to shoot his audition for him.
"I was pretty strung out," Cumberbatch said. "So that went into the performance."
On January 2, the War Horse star received an e-mail from Abrams reading, "You want to come and play?" -- the director's way of telling Cumberbatch he got the part.
The director later told the Times the iPhone-captured video was "one of the most compelling audition readings [he'd] ever seen."
The character, a genetically-enhanced tyrant, was portrayed by Ricardo Montalban in the 1967 Star Trek episode 'Space Seed'. He was brought back for the movie sequel Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, in which he attempts to steal a terraforming Genesis device.
Cumberbatch is refusing to give details about his upcoming role: "You could stick a knife in my thigh, and I wouldn’t tell you,” he joked.
The Star Trek sequel will be released in cinemas in May 2013, with Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho and Zoe Saldana joined by cast newcomers Alice Eve, Noel Clarke and Peter Weller.
What do you think of the casting?
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