Oh, how I wish I could find a better photo of Benedict Cumberbatch filming Star Trek 2. I’m sure it’s much more serious and impressive in the actual moving scene, but in the photo he looks like the wacked out stoner friend in an early 90s teen sex comedy. In other words, he looks like Pauly Shore … of course, that has a certain level of scary in itself, but intimidating? Not so much.
So from this one photo released, it’s hard to tell if the rumors are true about his villain’s identity … namely that Cumberbatch will be Khan Noonien Singh. Cumberbatch doesn’t really look very much like the villian on his own. On top of that, could he do the voice? I’m just not so sure. But more than anything, does that look like Kahn from either his television episode or the movie?
It’s not that I’m against Khan being in the movie in general. Abrams’ first Star Trek movie created an alternate timeline and the effects of the USS Kelvin’s destruction can easily have a ripple effect throughout the universe, especially now that the Enterprise crew has been completely assembled a few years earlier than scheduled. So, having Kahn meet the Kirk and the crew in a new way and much earlier doesn’t bother me, nor does changing Kahn’s character or backstory. Again, alternate timeline and all that.
It comes back to whether Cumberbatch is the right fit for Khan, and I’m just not convinced yet. Granted, he’s a brilliant actor and I love him in Sherlock, but will he be able to do Khan? I don’t know. But plenty of online response has compared this rumor to Heath Ledger’s casting as the Joker … in other words, give him a chance either way before you assume it won’t work. When we get a real confirmation on this rumor from the production, here’s hoping we also get some new set photos to give us a better idea about his performance.