Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan is not just one of the best Star Trek films, it is one of the best movies ever made. With a smart script, strong themes, sharp dialogue and brilliant character realizations, it re-invented and revitalized the franchise after the commercially successful but creatively panned first film.
Other Star Trek films have tried to utilize elements of Wrath of Khan, and it has been invariably a bad idea because it always invites direct comparison, and against a film so good it's just hard to compete. First Contact did it, and though definitely the best TNG film it's not Khan, and Nemesis did it, and just plain sucked.
Brining Khan in for this new film is really going to bring home the comparisons to TWOK, and direct comparisons of the powerhouse performances of both Shatner and Montalban in that film, which despite occasional campiness were both very good, thanks in no small part to director Nicholas Meyer.
Can J.J. Abrams, Chris Pine and Benedict Cumberbatch take on TWOK and come out favourably, or at least not horribly, from the comparison? Is it wise for them to try? The first Abrams Trek was fun, but it was hardly high-brow intellectual fare, which TWOK definitely was, so to be honest, I'm not really holding my breath. And if there was anything that really bothered me about Star Trek (2009), it's that the villain had almost no characterization whatsoever. Khan deserves a heck of a lot better than that.
(Yes, that's really Ricardo Montalban doing that voice )