By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com January 10, 2012 at 10:03AM
Even for a man who's made a career of playing villains in the likes of "Bad Boys II," "Knight & Day" and "Columbiana," getting to play the bad guy in J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek 2" would have been something of a prize. Spanish actor Jordi Mollà was said to be in the mix for the role, alongside "Carlos" star Edgar Ramirez, when Benicio Del Toro declined, but as we learned last week, he didn't land it, with British actor Benedict Cumberbatch taking the part instead. But Mollà clearly isn't too upset, as he'll be the main antagonist in another space franchsie instead.
Variety reports that the actor, who broke through in the U.S. in Ted Demme's "Blow" a decade ago, is in talks to play the villainous mercenary Santana in David Twohy's "Riddick," the writer-director's third film to feature the glowing-eyed space killer of the title, played by Vin Diesel, following "Pitch Black" and "The Chronicles of Riddick." Despite no one, bar Twohy and Diesel, seeming to want the film, they've been diligently pursuing the threequel, which will see Riddick fending off bounty hunters after being stranded on an alien planet, and attempting to save his homeland, and, after a wobble when pre-production was shut-down last fall, the film looks to finally be happening.
"Battlestar Galactica" alum Katee Sackoff was also cast yesterday, as the female lead, and shooting will get underway soon, possibly with Karl Urban, who played the villain in the dreadful last installment "The Chronicles of Riddick," returning as well. We can't say this is a film we've been counting down the days for, but the first "Pitch Black" was lean B-movie fun, and if Twohy can keep things closer to that than the overblown space opera of 'Chronicles,' this might be a decent time-passer. The film will likely hit theaters sometime in 2013.