comScore Idris Elba's Star Trek Role: "Groundbreaking" | The Mary Sue

Idris Elba Calls His Mysterious Star Trek Character “Groundbreaking”

Idris Elba

We know Idris Elba’s character in Star Trek: Beyond will be a villain, and that Simon Pegg has said he’ll play a never-before-seen character who (probably) isn’t a Klingon … but that’s it. Idris Elba kept his own lips sealed about his role until today, when he told MTV News the following:

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.

Elba also confirmed the character would be a new and original one, elaborating:

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.

Hm. So, this “bad guy” still wants to destroy the world, but he’ll do it in a way we don’t expect. And he’s definitely a newcomer, so we should stop coming up with ideas for which classic villain Elba might be taking on.

Let’s also recall that Benedict Cumberbatch’s villain role in Star Trek: Into Darkness was originally conceived as a new character, then changed to Khan in a later rewrite. Personally, I think I would have preferred the version in which Cumberbatch played a completely original villain. Tie-ins and references to past Star Trek fictions can come across as either great or ham-fisted, depending on the execution, and after the last film, I’m not feeling so confident about reintroducing more story-lines from Star Trek‘s past. I don’t think I want to see Elba turn out to be a previous Star Trek villain, and it sounds like he won’t … but given the secrecy surrounding Khan last time, I’m just not sure what to expect anymore.

What do you think? Do you believe that Idris Elba will be playing a brand-new and “groundbreaking” villain? Or are you all still looking up previous Star Trek villains and brainstorming more theories?

(via Comic Book Resources, image via Tumblr)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).