Star Trek 2's Dr. "Bones" McCoy, Karl Urban, was recently at a promotional junket for Dredd — a new film adaptation of 2000 AD character Judge Dredd — when he may have let slip what villain Benedict Cumberbatch is playing in J.J. Abrams' sequel. When asked by SFX about working with the actor on the sci-fi film, Urban said: "He’s awesome, he’s a great addition, and I think his Gary Mitchell is going to be exemplary."
The production had denied it, but overwhelming consensus has been centered on the Sherlock star would be playing Khan, a reprisal of the role that Ricardo Montalbán made famous. If Urban is telling the truth, and not just having fun with Trekkies and rumormongers, then Cumberbatch will play an old pal of Kirk's with telekinetic powers. Gary Lockwood starred as Gary Mitchell in the TV episode Where No Man Has Gone Before. Mitchell was an Academy friend to Kirk and becomes affected by the strange energies of a galactic barrier, developing a set of godlike powers. He also becomes a mean bastard, and Kirk and Spock are tasked with containing his wrath.
Several have shot down the Khan rumors, and co-writer and producer Roberto Orci has specifically stated that Gary Mitchell would not be one of the characters in the sequel. Orci has fibbed to fans before, however, particularly when it came to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Megatron. He denied the robot would make an appearance, but Megatron became a key character in the film. Of course, with J.J. Abrams attached to anything, it's hard to know what's real and what's a ruse, but we'll find out soon enough. Star Trek 2 hits theaters on May 17, 2013.