So pics were released today of Benedict Cumberbatch as the Trek Villain (still unnamed). Check them out here:
They still have not revealed who he is playing but it is certain now that he is a "villain role." The debate still remains who he is playing. But I got some thoughts on it. In an interview in 2010, Robert Ocri the writer stated: “It’s definitely a character that will make fans of TOS excited. Think along the lines of Harry Mudd or Trelane or Gary Mitchell or the Talosians or the Horta. Actually it’s one of those that I named.” So no Khan or Klingons. The idea of Khan as our baddie got white hot with the possible casting of Benecio Del Toro, who since declined the role. (Can you picture him as a scene stealing Khan? I could!) But Cumberbatch here has now taken his place, apparently. So lets examine each of those choices...
"HARRY MUDD" -- I see this as possible, but a long shot. Harry Mudd was never a character that was a geniune threat, but more of a fun distraction villain. At most: A pain in the ass. Also he is traditionally slovenly and slimy. I don't think Cumberbatch (or Del Toro) has any of those qualities. However it could be that they have updated the character for this alternate timeline. So I consider this a possibility, but a long shot.
"TALOSIANS" -- In the original series Trek, Pike fought the Talosians. Christopher Pike is indeed in this sequel. So this makes for an interesting possibility. But I think a long shot. The aliens are supposed to have butts for heads! Although they could be using their powers of illusion to disguise themselves as someone looking like Cumberbatch. Might be interesting, but I say probably not. Traditional audiences wouldn't be drawn in by such a character.
"GARY MITCHELL" -- I like the idea. And Cumberbatch IS wearing a Starfleet shirt in the above pics. However I see this as impossible. Because the writers of the movie have been working closely with IDW to do an ongoing TREK series set in this alternate reality and they have been doing "new universe versions" of classic stories. The first two parter was Kirk vs. Gary Mitchell. So it has already been done. And if we take the writers at their word that events in the book "foreshadow" what is to come in the new movie, then Gary is automatically eliminated.
"HORTA" -- C'mon now. No way. More possible that Kirk fights a planet of MUGATUs instead.
Which leaves us with my #1 pick for who it is: TRELANE. And here are my reasons why:
1. They have said that they scouted various areas including an art museum in L.A. which will stand in for a "Famous Star Trek Location." Trelane lived in a castle with artwork and other such things. Would make a nice stand in for such a place.
2. Cumberbatch is British and could pull of an aristotratic God-like creature like Trelane was. Arrogant, strong and has the powers of a Q. (Trelane might have even been a Q. Fans and Peter David books have speculated that. I agree.) He would pose a great threat to Kirk and the ship. Who doesn't wanna watch the Enterprise crew vs. a God-like creature? That's what defines "classic Trek" to me.
3. Another location they were looking for was a "jungle planet." Kirk fights Trelane in a jungle in that same episode he meets him in.
So if we take the writers at their word that it is one of those as a Villain, then Trelane is my obvious guess, with Harry Mudd a fall back possiblity. I think we can safely rule Klingons out. However, something with the caption on this picture above intrigues me. Supposedly Spock is putting the Vulcan nerve pinch on him, which he "easily overcomes." Who could do that? A god creature, sure. But perhaps also a man made of Eugenics and selective breeding??? Maybe Khan shouldn't be ruled out so quickly after all. I mean, that is some DARK HAIR on Cumberbatch there. Also if you remember, Khan at one point in the episode "SPACE SEED" wore a traditional Starfleet uniform for a bit while hanging out on the ship before trying to overtake it. But it was a junior officer's uniform. No stripes. The version of Junior officer uniform in this new series appears to be the Black shirt... which he is wearing here. And Kirk wore all throughout the first movie. Lastly, they are fighting on some old looking "cargo ship." Looks awfully like something that might have been floating in space, made on Earth from the mid-1990s, wouldn't you say?
To sum it up: My guess is that unless we've been thrown for a loop, its Trelane. BUT - It might be Khan. If that is the case and it IS Khan, I wonder what the LA Art Musuem is standing in for as the "famous STAR TREK LOCATION?"
Yeah. I'm a walking Trekpedia.