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Star Trek 3 is placed in a quandary. How does it up the villain ante after Benedict Cumberbatch’s Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness? The second installment had its fair share of critics — actually, a lot of them — but the Sherlock star bathed his lines with glorious purpose. Who could possibly top that? How about Idris Elba?
Variety reports that the Luthor star and hoped-for future Bond star is being eyed for the lead villain role of Star Trek 3. The trade reports that he’s even in early talks to take it on. Heinsenburg himself, Bryan Cranston, was rumored to be up for a villain role, which now seems to be just over-hyped Internet banter. But what could the villain be, possibly? The hot rumor is that Klingons will have something to do with what’s going in the events to come. They popped up very briefly in Into Darkness in a face-to-face confrontation with Zoe Saldana’s Uhura, but they haven’t been properly utilized yet in this new timeline. With the film franchise spotlighting such classic characters as the Romulans and then Khan, it seems plausible that the Klingons could take the spotlight next. Of course, there’s no official word on the matter.
Elba is a fantastic choice for such a role, whoever it is. Though he’s involved in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Heimdall, who we’ll see popping up next in Avengers: Age of Ultron and presumably in Thor: Ragnorak, fans want to see more of him. He smolders on the small screen as the title detective in the BBC crime drama Luther, and there's been a huge online campaign for him to replace Daniel Craig as the next James Bond. While that might not happen, at least not for a while (Craig is still contracted in for Spectre, after all), a massive part in a massive sci-fi franchise such as Star Trek would quell our angst.
Plot details on Star Trek 3 are, overall, being kept close to the vest, though Roberto Orci said previously that the film will take the Enterprise crew into "deep space," as they set off on their famous "five-year mission." William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were also planning to reprise their roles as Kirk and Spock in Star Trek 3, as "future alt-timeline" versions of the characters. However, it's unclear as to the fate of this inclusion, given the sad and all-too-recent passing of Nimoy.
Though J.J. Abrams won’t return to the director’s seat for Star Trek 3 — he passed that torch to Fast and Furious helmer Justin Lin so he could take over Star Wars: Episode 7 — he will help produce the film. In addition, franchise star Simon Pegg is helping out with script duties. The film is currently scheduled for release on July 8, 2016.