'Star Trek 2' Villain Benedict Cumberbatch: A History

Step aside, Eric Bana - there’s a new "Star Trek" villain in town: the British gent with the fabulous name and even more fabulous cheekbones, Benedict Cumberbatch.

Which "Star Trek" villain is Benedict Cumberbatch playing?

Cumberbatch’s casting in J.J. Abrams’ next "Trek" flick has turbocharged the 35-year-old actor’s ascent to superstardom, and with all of his current and upcoming high-profile film projects, he’s set to inherit Michael Fassbender’s title of It Movie Guy of the Year.

But if you’re not yet familiar with Mr. Cumberbatch’s work, here’s a brief introduction.

Who He Is

Benedict Cumberbatch started his career in the early 2000’s, appearing regularly on British TV. He played the son of current “House” doc Hugh Laurie in a 2003 series called “Fortysomething” and the following year starred in a biopic of Stephen Hawking. In recent years he’s appeared in such films as “Starter for 10,” “Amazing Grace” and “The Other Boleyn Girl.”

Where You’ve Seen Him

Last year Cumberbatch’s career really took off. He co-starred in the new adaptation of the John le Carré thriller “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” with such iconic Brit thespians as John Hurt, Gary Oldman and Colin Firth. He got himself a Spielberg flick, playing Major Jamie Stewart in “War Horse.” And he added the most impressive TV credit to his CV when he assumed the role of the modern-day Sherlock Holmes, alongside Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson, in the ongoing BBC/PBS series “Sherlock.”

Where You’ll See Him Next

Want to make sure your name is truly unforgettable? Why not jump into one of the most anticipated films of 2012 - Cumberbatch will reunite with Freeman in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit,” as the motion-captured dragon Smaug.

Why He Works For "Star Trek"

As a gifted actor, Cumberbatch can do it all. He can play crazy (see “Sherlock”) just as well as he can play evil (re-watch the 2007 film “Atonement” to see him as repulsive baddie Paul Marshall). It will be fun to see what Abrams & Co. come up with for our new favorite redhead. He could easily be the best Trek villain since Ricardo Montalbán’s Khan… maybe even better.

Benedict Cumberbatch

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