Abrams hoping to beam up Benicio Del Toro for sequel.

Paramount Pictures and J.J. Abrams are expected to offer Benicio Del Toro the role of the mysterious villain in the highly anticipated ‘Star Trek’ sequel, reports Variety.

The trade’s sources add that while a deal has yet to made, Del Toro (‘Che’) has met with Abrams and the actor is expected to be cast before the week is out.

Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg and John Cho are all set to return with Abrams back in the director’s chair. Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof are penning the script.

While there is currently no official start date, production is expected to kick off early 2012.