Posh British actor Benedict Cumberbatch is about to take his career into warp speed. (Alternate hack lede: Benedict Cumberbatch is set to boldly go.) The up-and-coming import has landed a key role in 'Star Trek 2': the heavy. Guess the villain in 'Star Trek 2' won't be Khan. (KHAAAAAAN.)

Per Variety, Cumberbatch will play the 'Star Trek' evildoer that director J.J. Abrams initially had Benicio Del Toro in mind for; Cumberbatch also apparently defeated Edgar Ramirez and Jordi Molla for the part, two actors who were on the short list following Del Toro's exit.

Best known for his turns in 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' and 'War Horse,' Cumberbatch is also on the BBC version of 'Sherlock' as the titular detective.

He joins Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, Alice Eve and newly cast British actor Noel Clarke in the cast.

Set for release in 3D, 'Star Trek 2' arrives in theaters on May 17, 2013.

[via Variety, Deadline]

[Photo: Getty]

Follow Moviefone on Twitter
Like Moviefone on Facebook