J.J. Abrams wants actor for Paramount sequel

Though most roles are cast in Paramount and Skydance’s “Star Trek” sequel, the mysterious villain part was still available — and now J.J. Abrams has made his choice.

Sources close to the project tell Variety that Benicio Del Toro is expected to be offered the part, possibly before the weekend is out. Insiders say Del Toro has met with Abrams but, in an effort to keep the role a secret, still doesn’t know exactly what it is.

Par and Skydance had no comment on the casting process.

Abrams is back to direct with Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof penning the script. Abrams, Kurtzman, Orci, Lindelof, Bryan Burk, and David Ellison will produce through Bad Robot and Skydance Productions.

Production is expected to start in early 2012.

Del Toro most recently finished production on Universal’s “Savages.”

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