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With Benicio del Toro dropping out of negotiations, Variety reports that Carlos star Edgar Ramirez has emerged as the frontrunner to play the villain in Paramount Pictures’ Star Trek sequel. Colombiana actor Jordi Molla is also believed to be a contender.
Ramirez is expected to test for the role, via Skype, as early tonight, with director J.J. Abrams hoping to make a decision by the weekend, a little more than a month before the film goes into production.
Rumors swirled last week that del Toro would play Khan — the role originated by Ricardo Montalban — something Abrams flatly denied. However, it’s unclear whether the filmmaker was referring to the character or simply the del Toro’s involvement. It’s worth noting, though, that Abrams seems intent on finding an actor of Latin descent for the part, whatever that may be.
Best known for his starring turn in Carlos, Ramirez also appeared in Che, Domino and The Bourne Ultimatum. He’ll next be seen playing Ares in Wrath of the Titans.
Written by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof, the Star Trek sequel stars returning cast members Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho and Anton Yelchin, joined by newcomers Alice Eve and Peter Weller. The film opens May 17, 2013.