Cumberbatch, currently starring as the titular detective in the BBC’s Sherlock alongside Martin Freeman’s John Holmes, has been cast in JJ Abrams’ Starfleet sequel although there is no word on whether he will be playing a hero or a villain.

Cumberbatch has snared some much-sought after roles recently, playing Peter Guillam opposite the likes of Gary Oldman in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and Major Stewart in Steven Spielberg’s soon-to-be released War Horse, as well as being named “Actor of the Year” by GQ magazine.

Abrams’ Star Trek, released in 2008, grossed $258M in the US and $130 overseas and starred Chris Pine as Captain Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock and Simon Pegg as Scotty.

Star Trek 2 is due to be released in May 2013.