J.J. Abrams quickly filling out cast

J.J. Abrams has tapped veteran thesp Peter Weller for the ensemble cast of Paramount’s upcoming “Star Trek” sequel.

Specifics of Weller’s role are under wraps. His selection came on the heels of Abrams choosing Alice Eve as a character that’s believed to be new.

Benicio del Toro is Abrams’ choice to play the villain, as Variety first reported Nov. 4. Most of the cast from the previous installment is returning, including Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.

Abrams is directing from a script by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof. 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 with Paramount planning to release the pic on May 17, 2013.

Weller’s TV credits include “Dexter,” “Fringe” and “24,” while his film credits include “Mighty Aphrodite,” “Robocop,” “Robocop II” and “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.” Weller also directed the 1993 short “Partners,” which was Oscar-nommed; TV helming credits include Elmore Leonard’s “Gold Coast and Odyssey V,” “Homicide: Life on the Streets,” “Michael Hayes” and “Monk.”

Weller is repped by APA and managed by Craig Baumgarten at BMP Inc.

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