Director JJ Abrams has been hugely complimentary about Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, whom he cast as the arch villain in his Star Trek movie sequel.
“He’s a genius,” Abrams said of Cumberbatch. “Honestly, he’s just an incredible actor. If you’ve seen his work in Sherlock, he’s just got incredible skills.
“I just loved his work and thought that he was perfect for what we needed,” he added. “We were just very lucky.”
Abrams joked that Cumberbatch’s unusual name was also a factor in landing him the role. “We just were looking for someone with the most awesome name in history,” he said.
“That was the casting call… and Benedict Cumberbatch showed up, so we were like, ‘You’re cast!'” Abrams told Collider.
Beyond the fact that he is to play the central villain, Cumberbatch’s role in the movie has not yet been revealed. But here’s a rough idea of how he might look as some classic Star Trek baddies.
Meanwhile, Abrams also revealed that Star Trek II would not be filmed in 3D but would be retro-fitted later.
“It will be converted, for those who want to see it in 3D,” he said. “But I wanted to match the look of the first one and shoot it anamorphically.”
The as yet untitled sequel begins shooting on Thursday.