Although "Star Trek 3" writer Simon Pegg is keeping details under wraps, it looks like the upcoming installment is already eyeing an actor to play its main villain. New reports indicate that British actor Idris Elba is in final talks to play a Klingon in the latest science fiction film.
According to Variety, director Justin Lin is working with the studio to bring the “Luther” star on board for the upcoming third movie, set to start filming in June. Although details of Elba’s role are being kept under wraps, it didn’t take long for people to jump to the very reasonable conclusion that he will play a Klingon. The warrior race has been a staple in the “Star Trek” universe since Gene Roddenberry created the original 1960s television series. Fans got an early look at the modern, reimagined version of the aliens in “Star Trek: Into Darkness” when Benedict Cumberbatch’s character beat the snot out of a whole squadron of them.
Traditionally, Klingons are played by black actors. Although some Caucasian people have taken roles in the TV series, it allegedly adds a lot more makeup to an already arduous process. In an interview with HeroComplex, Michael Dorn, who played Worf on seven seasons of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and four seasons of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” said the makeup was the one downfall of being a part of the franchise.
“It was always a pain. I don’t think I could have made it if I didn’t just really love my friends and the character and the work. It was never background — it was always intense — but when it would start to get to me, I would just think, ‘Well, I love what I’m doing and it couldn’t be a better gig so I’ll just keep my big yap shut.’”
Still, the justification for assuming Elba will play a Klingon extends beyond his race. Klingons were, arguably, the principal villain race in the original "Star Trek" series and the movies have been no exception. The first film didn’t show any of the temperamental aliens, but it took every opportunity to remind people of their existence. The 2009 remake even included a deleted sequence in which Klingons were introduced, but it was cut for time.
If the first movie established Klingons as a threat, the sequel basically beat viewers over the head with the concept. Although the principal villain was Khan (Cumberbatch), Klingons made their first menacing on-screen debut. However, what sets them up as the baddies in “Star Trek 3” isn’t their appearance, but the way they’re talked about. Pete Weller’s character, Admiral Marcus, reveals himself [SPOILER ALERT] to be a villain who had been using Star Fleet resources to take drastic pre-emptive steps against the impending war with the Klingons. While Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the Enterprise were able to stop Marcus, they didn’t do much to stop the inevitable war he was talking about.
If you look at the setup to a Klingon war in the first two movies as a promise to the audience, it would make sense for the third movie to be the climactic deliverance of that promise. This even seems to be the mentality held by Simon Pegg, who took over writing the script based on Robert Orci’s first draft, according to Cinemablend. At a recent press event for his new movie “Kill Me Three Times,” the actor who portrays Scotty in the movies admitted that he wants nothing more than to capture the spirit of the franchise and make fans happy.
“[We] just want to take it forward with the spirit of the TV show. And it's a story about frontierism and adventure and optimism and fun, and that's where we want to take it, you know. Where no man has gone before – where no one has gone before, sensibly corrected for a slighter more enlightened generation. But yeah, that's the mood at the moment.” (via io9).
What do you think, would you want to see Elba play a Klingon in “Star Trek 3?” Tweet your thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.