Up to this point, the party line has been that the Klingons are the villains in the upcoming Star Trek 3. When we learned recently that Idris Elba is in the running to be the new big bad, many assumed that this means he will play one of the warlike aliens who have, up to now, been underutilized in the rebooted movie franchise. According to newly appointed co-screenwriter Simon Pegg, however, this is not the case.
Absolute Radio caught up with Pegg on the red carpet, and they asked the Shaun of the Dead star if Elba is indeed playing a Klingon. He said:
That’s not true…I head there’s a rumor he’s been spoken to about stuff, so he may be in the film, but he won’t be a Klingon.
At the end of the brief interview, as he headed off on his merry way, just to keep us on our toes, Pegg added a cheeky, "Or maybe he will." If you’re having flashbacks to Pegg assuring everyone that Benedict Cumberbatch wasn’t playing Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, you’re not the only one. This seems in keeping with the level of security and misdirection that Bad Robot likes to keep around their projects.
We’re way more concerned with quality of Elba’s character than the specific who of the matter—this is presuming he does sign on for the film, of course, and if Pegg is to be taken at his word, it doesn’t sound like that is a definite just yet. Klingon or not, there are some potentially great canon villains Elba could play if they choose to go that route, but it is entirely possible that Pegg and co-screenwriter Doug Jung will come up with a new antagonist. Whoever it is, we just hope the character makes full use of Elba as an actor.
It’s possible that the Klingons don’t even figure into Star Trek 3 anymore. They’ve long been rumored to be the bad guys, but when Pegg and Jung took over the writing duties, they basically scrapped the previous script from the ousted Roberto Orci. Pegg recently said that they’re starting over, that they haven’t even read Orci’s script, and that they’re working with director Justin Lin to develop the story. Maybe the Klingons were there originally, but they’re going a different direction now.
However it shakes out with Elba, I do hope the Klingons play a significant role in Star Trek 3. They’ve been woefully under used over the previous two movies, and they’ve played such a big part in the universe over the years that their absence has been very obvious. There has also been a great deal of talk that the story jumps ahead a few years and finds the crew of the Enterprise in the middle of their five-year mission, which means they’re out in deep space, not hanging around Earth like the previous two movies. Ideally this is something Pegg and Jung are keeping intact. Deep space is where Star Trek belongs.
Given their track record, we probably won’t know for sure who Elba plays, and whether or not he really is a Klingon, until we sit down in the theater to watch Star Trek 3 on July 8, 2016.