Rumor: Benedict Cumberbatch in Episode VII?

Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek Into DarknessI’ve never heard of the site Film Chronicles, which is reporting that Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast in Episode VII, but Bleeding Cool says they are a “typically reserved” site generally not given to speculation and rumors, which leads BC to believe they must have a fairly solid source on this.

Casting Cumberbatch in Star Wars right on the heels of Star Trek Into Darkness seems just a tad too pat to me, even for J.J Abrams, but it’s true there’s been plenty of buzz about some sort of extremely imminent casting announcement. Could this turn out to be it? As always, we’ll just have to wait and see… And grit our teeth for the inevitable and obvious set of jokes regardless.

Aside from Trek, Cumberbatch is best known playing the title character in the BBC’s Sherlock. His upcoming slate of films includes The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Fifth Estate and 12 Years a Slave.

Totalfilm points out that both Cumberbatch and Kathleen Kennedy will be making appearances at the Telluride Film Festival tomorrow, so take that as you will.

UPDATE: Variety’s Marc Graser is saying this is nothing more than a “fun rumor.” The plot thickens!

UPDATE #2: Badass Digest is discounting the denials, saying that Cumberbatch is not yet a done deal, but that the role is that of a major villain expected to reoccur throughout the new trilogy.

19 thoughts on “Rumor: Benedict Cumberbatch in Episode VII?

  1. Dee

    Has anyone informed Bumbershoot Cabbagepatch that it’s actually not required to be in every fandom ever? Because seriously, no. Please, no.

    Reply
  2. wild_karrde

    But which of the rumoured roles would he be? Probably one of these, based on his age:

    - Forty something male, fit, military type.

    - Thirtysomething male, intellectual. Apparently doesn’t need to be fit.

    Reply
  3. Aaron

    Intellectual? Sure, I’d buy it.
    Personally I think that Mr. Cumberbatch has become too much of a mainstream actor to still be Star Wars material, though. It would be another sign that Disney is playing this as safe as possible, and I’m not sure that’s the right way to go.
    Still: In J. J. I continue to trust.

    Reply
    1. Dunc Post author

      Aaron: He is getting to be rather mainstream, but it’s not like he’s super-established like a Ben Affleck or anything.

      Jason: Yeah, he’s at about the top range of fame I’m comfortable with them casting for new characters.

      Reply
  4. SarahK

    I was very excited when Terrence Stamp was first announced for Ep. 1. Having a similar feeling now — a great actor brings so much more than his other roles — and I hope it turns out better this time, if it’s true.

    Reply
  5. Jason William Ward

    I go both ways on this. I think he’s good. I think I’d love this news if he hadn’t been in Star Trek II. But by the time Star Wars VII hits, Trek II will be a faded memory for the most part. So if he has committed to Star Wars and does nothing between now and then, I don’t think I hate that idea. I think he’s really good. If this is as big and known as the new cast gets, I could live with this.

    Reply
  6. Mike S

    I don’t like the idea of Star Trek actors in Star Wars. It seems to be a rather lazy move.

    They should go for actors who people would never expect – like Daniel Day Lewis

    Reply
  7. Brian

    I guess time will tell. In all honesty I do hope it’s true. Simply because he would be an awesome “Darth” or Darkside Villain.

    Reply
  8. Leandro

    I think Cumberbatch is less famous now than Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson or Liam Neeson were in the ’90s.
    I know he’s in every project out there but… think of Harrison in the ’70s/’80s: he was Han Solo AND Indiana Jones at the same time.

    Reply
  9. Jason William Ward

    McGregor was no where near Cumberbatch when she was signed onto Star Wars. Trainspotting made $16,491,080 domestically. Compare that to Star Trek II and McGregor is unknown by comparison.

    Like Dunc said, he’s at a good place to be comfortable with his fame and sliding into Star Wars.

    But I think it isn’t true yet and not being true yet equates to it being as likely as anyone else with a chance to try out.

    Reply
  10. Aaron

    I’ll admit: We could do way worse than Mr. Cumberbatch, so I won’t rage and rant and scream about him if any official announcement were to be made. I won’t thunderously applaud (TM by Padmé) either, though. Unless he plays Trioculus which would be disturbingly awesome. :D

    Reply
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