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Demián Bichir Into Machete Kills

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 17:  Actor Demian Bichir at TheWrap's Awards Season Screening Series Presents "A Better Life" - Portraits on November 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for TheWrap)

How will Demián Bichir capitalize on the Oscar heat he gained for his performance in last year's A Better Life? Variety reports that the actor has signed on to Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills and William Freidkin's indie thriller Trapped, though an even more high-profile role eluded him: J.J. Abrams courted Bichir to play the villain in Star Trek 2 after Benicio Del Toro dropped out, but Bichir had already committed to starring in his brother's play in Mexico. (Eventually, Abrams gave up on casting a Latino actor as the Trek baddie — widely assumed to be Khan — and selected pasty Brit thespian Benedict Cumberbatch in the role.)

Photo: Jerod Harris/2011 Getty Images