Dec. 6, 2011 at 11:15 AM ET
He's "Star Trek's" most iconic individual villain, and the inspiration for one of the most famed one-word movie quotes in history. Ricardo Montalban made him famous. He's Khan Noonien Singh, best known as Khan, or, in Shatner-speak, "KHAAAAAAAAAAAN!"
Last week, a rumor began to circulate that Benicio del Toro would play Khan in the next "Star Trek" movie. Now New York Magazine's Vulture column says del Toro is out of the film over money issues.
But is Khan still in the running to be the villain, even if played by someone else? Hitfix contacted director and producer J.J. Abrams, who said "not true." Of course, this being "Star Trek," nothing is over until you hear the Klingon Death Scream. As Hitfix smartly points out, unless the new film, a sequel to the 2009 reboot, jumps waaaay far into the future, the events of the 1982 "Wrath of Khan" film aren't ready to happen.
The new film could, of course, feature an early Khan, as he was seen in "Space Seed," the 1967 episode that introduced the character. Or Abrams and crew could just bide their time and plan to introduce Khan later, because "Trek" sequels breed as fast as Tribbles. It may be early in the rebooted timeline now, but just wait a few years.
Or the films could do both -- introduce young Khan now, explain his exile, and pick up the "Wrath of Khan" events in a later film. It would reward both fans of the show and moviegoers who would see both Khan films. Plus the character in "Wrath" was so much more powerful because of his history with the Enterprise crew, and the time lapse between the episode and the movie paralleled Khan's own torturous exile.
What do you think? Would you like to see Khan return to the big screen? Any picks for who should play him? Tell us in the comments.