Ever since SlashFilm announced that Idris Elba had joined the cast of Star Trek Beyond, details on who he plays has been kept tightly under wraps. Nothing more has been told other than that his character would be the antagonist of the new Star Trek sequel. But now Idris is finally talking about his role in the upcoming threequel, albeit in vague terms. Elba promises that his Star Trek Beyond villain character will have an interesting complex journey and be an groundbreaking twist on the classic Star Trek villain.
MTV talked to Idris Elba while the actor was doing press for Beasts of No Nation, and first the first time spoke on the record about his upcoming role as the villain in Star Trek Beyond:
“Simon [Pegg] and the team have written a very interesting, complex journey for my character. You’ve never seen me play a character like this. … I think ’Star Trek’ has prided themselves as being quite classic when it comes to villains, like ’he’s a guy who wants to end the world,’ there’s no doubt about that. But in this version of the film, there’s a slightly different twist to that. It’s quite an interesting journey, which I think is groundbreaking for the franchise. But, it still keeps with the ’classic bad guy is a classic bad guy’ tone.”
Now there are a few things to unpack from this quote:
- His character has “a very interesting, complex journey.”
- In this film his villain has a “slightly different twist” on the classic Star Trek villain that is “groundbreaking for the franchise.”
He seems to suggest his character isn’t a “classic Star Trek villain” but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a character we’ve seen before in Star Trek history. Although, one would think after the Star Trek Into Darkness Khan reaction that they would have decided to change focus on an original villain in this third film.
The early rumors suggested that Klingons would be the main villains in this movie. Those classic Trek aliens have not really had a big presence in previous installments, but writer/co-star Simon Pegg has been quoted as saying that Idris isn’t playing a Klingon. Of course, Pegg laughed and jokingly added a “Or maybe he will,” so we don’t know if thats a real denial of any sort. Remember, this is the same guy who insisted that those Benedict-Cumberbatch-as-Khan rumors were just “a myth.”
Idris also told MTV that he has been working “18-hour days” which could suggest that he is spending some time in the make-up chair at the start and end of each filming day. So I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Elba is playing a different more complex take on a Klingon villain from the series.