“Shall we begin?” A few days ago, rumors began to swirl that Benedict Cumberbatch would re-team with his Star Trek Into Darkness director for Star Wars: Episode VII. While it’s unclear if he would be a Jedi or Sith Lord, Cumberbatch is firmly denying his involvement with the project. Then again, hadn’t he also denied that he was playing Khan…
According to his representatives, the 37-year-old actor is not going to be in Episode VII. “There is no truth to the rumor Benedict has been cast in Star Wars,” a spokesperson told the NY Daily News. “I think the rumors are circling because JJ and Benedict have just recently had a wonderful time working together on Star Trek.”
Benedict Cumberbatch recently dropped out of Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, which led many to suspect he bailed on del Toro’s film for so he could work with J.J. Abrams again. Maybe there was some truth to the rumor, considering Cumberbatch’s love for Star Wars and his recent work as the villain Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness. Also, Star Wars is scheduled to start production in January 2014 in London, England…Cumberbatch’s hometown.
The actor had expressed an interest in appearing in Star Wars when he talked to Total Film back in May. “I’ve already asked him if I can be a lightsaber and we’re in talks — about whirring sounds and the rates for the lights and everything,” said Cumberbatch. “I loved [the Star Wars films]. I really, really loved those films and I always wanted to be Han Solo.”
At the moment, no one is officially cast in Episode VII. Some of the most recent rumors involved the possible casting of Rachel Hurd-Wood and Alex Pettyfer, but nothing substantive has been confirmed from Disney or Lucasfilm. Hurd-Wood would allegedly play Princess Leia and Han Solo’s daughter, while Pettyfer’s role was unspecified. It’s unclear if the Expanded Universe characters of Jaina and Jacen Solo will be included in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, but it would be cool if they do.
Star Wars alumni Ian McDiarmid and Ewan McGregor are also rumored to be joining the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. Both actors would reprise their roles as Emperor Palpatine and Obi-Wan Kenobi, only this time they would be spooky Force ghosts. Of course, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher are all-but-confirmed to return to the Star Wars universe.
Meanwhile, Benedict Cumberbatch has had a big 2013. Aside from Star Trek, Cumberbatch is set to star as Julian Assange in the upcoming The Fifth Estate film about the hacktivist website WikiLeaks. He will also co-star in the latest film from British director Steve McQueen in 12 Years a Slave, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender, and the film adaptation of Tracy Letts’ stage play August: Osage Count. Of course, Cumberbatch is also voicing the evil dragon Smaug in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Considering J.J. Abrams’ “mystery box” BS, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cumberbatch does turn out to be the villain in Star Wars VII. Hopefully, Abrams and company will at least provide his character’s name before the film is released. Maybe Cumberbatch can still play a character named “John Harrison,” and then reveal himself as the new Darth Vader.