When Benedict Cumberbatch was first cast as the maybe-villain-who-actually-knows main role in ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’, a lot of people did not yet know who Cumberbatch actually was. Of course, not fans of the hit BBC show ‘Sherlock’, which has been instrumental in making Cumberbatch a well known international television star. However, it is his turn as the villan [reportedly] in Star Trek 2 which will turn him in a household name for the masses, as well as his turn as Smaug in the Hobbit trilogy [although you only hear his voice there].
When JJ Abrams was at an IMAX preview to introduce the first nine minutes of the Star Trek sequel, he explained the reasons behind the casting of Cumberbatch.
He said, “One day, [Lost co-creator] Damon Lindelof texted me and said, 'You should check out Sherlock'. And I watched Sherlock, and was completely blown away, there was this absolute undeniable feeling about it.”
He went on to say that the actor’s audition for the role was almost not even necessary, saying, “Certainly it was important to hear the words come out of this actor's mouth, and so we got Benedict the pages and he sent an iPhone-taped audition to us, but it was almost a little bit of a formality.” He added, "Being on the set with him... I think everyone was bringing their absolute A-game. I think, frankly, in a way, [his] presence sort of elevated everything. Time and again, every scene, Benedict brought a surprising, unexpected, grounded, real and often terrifying aspect to the role. So we are incredibly grateful, all of us."