Trek 2's new villain cast: It's Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch!

The search is finally over, and the Holy Grail has been found! Well, not exactly the Holy Grail, but it comes pretty darn close in our geeky book of awesome! J.J. Abrams has finally found the man who'll play his Star Trek 2 villain, and he is none other than the hit BBC drama Sherlock's main star: Benedict Cumberbatch.

According to Variety, the 35-year-old British actor Cumberbatch ''has been tapped to play the villain in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek 2.''

This is apparenty the same role Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez had auditioned for in early December after negotiations with Benicio del Toro fell through, and it's believed to be the role of Khan Noonien Singh, who first appeared in the original series episode "Space Seed" only to return in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

But nothing has been officially confirmed, so the villain could also be someone completely new. Paramount also had no comment on the casting.

The actor is having a stellar year in cinema right now, which includes some lauded performances in Steven Spielberg's War Horse and in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Next on Benedict Cumberbatch's busy list: Middle-earth, where the tall, lean British actor will be reunited with his Sherlock co-star, actor Martin Freeman—who's playing the young Bilbo Baggins. Cumberbatch will provide the voice (as well as the motion capture) for the great dragon Smaug, as well as for the mysterious Necromancer later known as *cough* Sauron *cough* in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit films.

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[Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman on series 2 of Sherlock which just began airing this New Year's Day in the U.K.]

What do you think of Cumberbatch being cast as the villain? Are you as thrilled and excited as we are? Star Trek 2 is set to begin filming on Jan. 15.

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