Hot on the heels of yesterdays news that Noel Clarke has joined the cast of J.J. Abrams’ upcoming ‘Star Trek’ sequel, Deadline bring word that  Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast in a lead role in the film. While Deadline offer no details regarding the role, Variety are reporting that Cumberbatch has been tapped to play the villain, landing the role that Edgar Ramirez had auditioned for last month. Cumberbatch’s career has been steadily on the rise since playing Sherlock Holmes in the BBC’s modern adaptation series ‘Sherlock.’ Since then he’s landed roles in Steven Spielberg’s ‘War Horse’ (as ’Major Stewart’), ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ and Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ and ‘The Hobbit: There And Back Again’ (as ‘Smaug the Dragon’ through motion capture and voicing the ‘Necromancer’).

Benedict Cumberbatch and Noel Clarke join newcomers Alice Eve and Peter Weller in the Sci-fi sequel. The film also sees the return of Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban and John Cho. J.J. Abrams is back to direct with Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Damon Lindelof penning the script.  ‘Star Trek 2′ has been scheduled for a May 17th 2013 release date. As the film is set to start shooting in the coming weeks expect more details regarding Cumberbatch and Clarke’s role soon, in addition to further casting appointments.