EXCLUSIVE: J.J. Abrams Talks About The Possibility Of Recasting Khan For ‘Star Trek’ Sequel

J.J. Abrams nailed the recasting of “Star Trek” icons James T. Kirk and Spock for his big screen reboot this past May. The question, “Who in the world could possibly replace William Shatner on the Enterprise flight deck?” was answered with the resounding cry, “Holy crap is Chris Pine good!”

With these casting achievements behind him, Abrams knows he’s opened up some creative leeway in terms of replacing characters in the mythology. Could that lead to another go at the franchise’s #1 villain, Khan? In a recent interview, Abrams admitted taking on the genetic superfreak would be a challenge, but one no bigger than ushering in new versions of Kirk and Spock.

“I think one of the byproducts of doing this movie was we were able to dispel the obvious and understandable concerns—how can ’Star Trek’ possibly exist without those original cast members?” the director explained during a recent interview with MTV’s Josh Horowitz. “Now that we are in a parallel existence with what fans of the original series love so much, we could introduce any number of characters, settings, references and situations that the original series introduced. Dealing with Khan would certainly be a challenge, but we had an equal challenge in finding our crew of the Enterprise.”

Abrams and his team of writers (Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof) have only just started to discuss story ideas for the sequel. But Abrams promised that in introducing past characters or storylines, the sequel will not become a simple rehashing of old movie or TV episodes.

“While I don’t want to approach the second film as a remake of episodes we’ve seen in the past… nothing is off limits in terms of what we’re discussing,” he said. “When Bob Orci and the others who know ’Trek’ so well, the fun of working with them is they know this universe so deeply they’re the ones who are always considering what it means to deal with the stuff in the past, so it’ll be exciting.”

How do you think Khan should be handled in this new “Star Trek” universe? Do you want to see him in the next sequel? In any subsequent follow-ups? Would you rather see him left out all together?