‘Star Trek’ sequel: Meet Benedict Cumberbatch, the villain

Jan. 05, 2012 | 6:34 p.m.

English actor Benedict Cumberbatch plays a villain in J.J. Abrams' upcoming "Star Trek Into Darkness." Click through this gallery for a look at Cumberbatch's career. He's shown here as Sherlock Holmes in the TV series "Sherlock." (PBS)

Cumberbatch played young British aristocrat Edmund Talbot in the 2005 miniseries "To the Ends of the Earth." The series was nominated for several BAFTA awards. (BBC)

Cumberbatch, third from left, joined James McAvoy, Alice Eve and Elaine Tan in the 2006 film "Starter for 10," about students at Bristol University. (Giles Keyte/Picturehouse)

Benedict Cumberbatch played Paul Marshall in "Atonement," a 2007 movie based on the novel by Ian McEwan. The film won an Oscar, two Golden Globes and two BAFTA awards. (Universal Pictures)

In another period piece, Cumberbatch played William Carey, husband to Scarlett Johansson's Mary Boleyn. (Sony Pictures)

Cumberbatch, right, and Anamaria Marinca starred in the 2008 miniseries thriller "The Last Enemy." (Box TV/BBC/PBS)

In 2010, Cumberbatch acted in "The Whistleblower," a drama based on the experiences of Kathryn Bolkovac, who served as a peacekeeper in Bosnia and exposed a sex scandal. (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

Cumberbatch's performance as the Baker Street sleuth alongside Martin Freeman's Dr. Watson in the "Sherlock" TV series has catapulted him into the public eye and earned him several awards nods, including BAFTA and Emmy nominations. (BBC/PBS)

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Victor Frankenstein opposite Jonny Lee Miller's Creature in last year's Danny Boyle "National Theatre Live" production of "Frankenstein." The two actors took turns portraying the monster and his creator. (Catherine Ashmore)

Benedict Cumberbatch played opposite Gary Oldman in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." (Jack English/Focus Features)

Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed Peter Guillam in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." (Jack English/Focus Features)

Benedict Cumberbatch, left, played Maj. Jamie Stewart alongside Patrick Kennedy and Tom Hiddleston in the 2011 movie "War Horse." (David Appleby/DreamWorks)

Benedict Cumberbatch, left, discusses the next shot with director Steven Spielberg on the set of the 2011 film "War Horse." (David Appleby/DreamWorks)

Cumberbatch will lend his voice to both the dragon Smaug and the Necromancer in Peter Jackson's 2013 film "The Hobbit: There and Back Again," the sequel to this year's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema)

Benedict Cumberbatch attends the British Independent Film Awards in London in 2011. (Joel Ryan / Associated Press)

As rumors about which villainous character Benedict Cumberbatch will play in J.J. Abrams’ 2013 “Star Trek” sequel go into warp speed, we bring you a look back at the career of the English actor best known for portraying Sherlock Holmes.

Before Cumberbatch made a name for himself playing literature’s most famous sleuth on “Sherlock” (with “The Hobbit” star Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson), the 35-year-old appeared in several Masterpiece Theatre productions, acted alongside “House” star Hugh Laurie in the sitcom “Fortysomething,” and won awards for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in the 2004 TV movie “Hawking.”

Flip through the gallery above for a look at some more highlights from his stage and screen career, including recent performances in Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” and opposite “The Dark Knight Rises” star Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”

The as-yet-untitled sequel is slated for a May 2013 release. Cumberbatch joins a cast that includes returning actors Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin and Zoe Saldana, and brings several new faces to the Starfleet universe, including “Doctor Who” actor Noel Clarke.

— Noelene Clark


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14 Responses to ‘Star Trek’ sequel: Meet Benedict Cumberbatch, the villain

  1. Niles J says:

    Great article. What an extraordinary actor… so nice to see those of us in the US starting to sit up and take notice.

  2. jessica says:

    One of the best actors in the world. Up there with Laurence Olivier and Paul Schofield.

  3. willsy says:

    a brilliant master stroke by abrams and a terrific choice to play the mysterious villain i look forward to the kirk vs villain fist fight

  4. Dale says:

    I'm a huge fan of Cumberbatch's, but what kind of phony article was that? If you didn't actually interview him, or others talking about him, why bother? It's this kind of light-weight next-door-to-nonsense that makes reading this part of the paper so irritating.

  5. Sandra says:

    Haha – the actor's name is censored in these comments! Cumberbatch, indeed.

  6. Cyranos Ghost says:

    Immensely talented actor and a wonderful choice for any part in this upcoming film. Beilliant, intense, and dedicated, he has demonstrated repeatedly his enormous range and and ability to play both comedic and dramatic characters equally well. Will definitely be an added reason for me to see the film. American audiences ynfamiliar with his work should definitely check out the Brit comedy "Fortysomething", which was short lived but hilarious, and the incredible modrenization of the classic detective in "Sherlock", currently till running in the UK.

  7. bardgal says:

    And he's the paramount baddie Smaug/Necromancer (Sauron) in The Hobbit.

    Someone needs to cast him in a light romantic comedy STAT.

  8. bbaz28728 says:

    Benedict Cumberbatch ? Great choice for the villian, I guess.

  9. flappy says:


  10. bashfully says:

    Awesome! How do you forget his role as the youngest Prime Minister in England's history in the movie "Amazing Grace?" One which he nailed so masterfully!

  11. Guest says:

    "Noel Clarke.

    — Noelene Clark"

    Suspicious much?

    • noelenecy says:

      I wish I was related to that time-traveling guy with a fabulous name. But alas, I'm merely a mild-mannered reporter, and he pals around with The Doctor. –Noelene Clark

  12. JGStar says:

    My prediction: he's playing Trelane

  13. Guest says:

    Spoiler alert: Could he be Lt Connor Gary Mitchell??

    Behold where no man has gone before…

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