Benedict Cumberbatch May Play Sith Villain of Next ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 3rd, 2013 at 1:57 pm,

Star Wars 7 Benedict Cumberbatch Sith Benedict Cumberbatch May Play Sith Villain of Next Star Wars Trilogy

It’s high-time for Disney, with their two major acquisitions in Marvel and Lucasfilm beginning to cast key roles in each of their highest profile in-development projects, The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: Episode VII, respectively. Both films begin shooting early next year with 2015 release dates and both were reportedly set to drop major casting announcements last week.

For Marvel it happened twice, with the official castings of James Spader in The Avengers 2 and Bradley Cooper joining Guardians of the Galaxy. Star Wars however, remains without a single official casting announcement yet multiple sources have word that Benedict Cumberbatch may be nabbing a lead part in Star Wars 7.

Thanks to denials however, the many sites holding onto this news held the scoop close to their chests until Film Chronicles confidently reported the imminent casting of Cumberbatch, corroborating reports of why Cumberbatch dropped out of Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak. When that news broke early yesterday, it spread like wildfire and the other sites who also had the scoop began sharing additional details.

The most interesting of which comes from Badass Digest who claim that not only is Cumberbatch joining  J.J. Abrams’ Episode VII but has been cast in a “major” villainous role for the entire trilogy, very likely as a Sith warrior. Whether the news is true or not – official word is expected to come soon, potentially along with the long-awaited confirmations that Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill are returning as well.

And if it does, expect to hear it from Lucasfilm itself rather than the usual trades. Like Marvel Studios revealing the pair of announcements last week on their own official site, Disney’s Lucasfilm aims to do the same, self-promoting via their own official channels.

Casting calls may have revealed several of the roles Abrams and co. are planning to cast, some of whom may be children of Han Solo and Princess Leia, but as with any J.J. Abrams project, everything currently remains a mystery – at least, officially. That makes the standard denials of Cumberbatch’s involvement impossible to believe at face value. That being said, Disney aims to avoid strict secrecy about their ushering in of the return of the Star Wars brand so once we hear one official casting, expect Lucasfilm’s new ownership to open up the floodgates, despite Abrams’ usual style.

Cumberbatch of course, earned much stardom thanks to his villainous, scene-stealing role in Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness this summer and the actor is a self-proclaimed lover of Star Wars, not shying away from sharing his interesting in continuing his working relationship with Abrams. The question is, after playing an intimidating and powerful villain in the Star Trek sequel, is it smart to have him potentially take on a similar role for another three films, or would the continuance of the saga be served better with him suiting up as a hero?

[poll id="670"]

In the meantime, Cumberbatch fans can look forward to his dual supporting roles in this fall’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and his starring role in The Fifth Estate.

[Update: Cumberbatch's reps are denying it. But that would happen if he was cast and Disney didn't want to announce anyway so... it's still a 'wait and see' situation.]


Star Wars: Episode VII is tentatively slated to reach theaters by Summer 2015, though it could wind up delayed until the Winter Holiday Season.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: BD

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. In most Star Trek television stories, the villain has almost have the screen time for character development. In the movies, they really crapped all over the villain’s character development that really wasted Benedict performance.
    I’m afraid if he plays a villain in another JJ Abrams project as a sith, he’ll just be a bad guy with a sword, 2-3 evil sayings, a deep voice, in a badly lit room with the glare of a red saber (/w lens flares) on his face, awesome black robe, awesome fight scenes, and then he’ll die from falling into a deep hole.

    • Salamander! That sounds effin Awesome!

  2. I think some of you are assuming JJ is writing the script, which he is not.

    • I think you are assuming Abrams wrote Star Trek Into Darkness, which he absolutely did not. As a matter of fact, I remember an interview he gave saying how this was the first movie he had directed in which he had almost no say as to the story’s direction. We can only hope Abrams winds up doing some cleanup to Michael Arndt’s script (if it needs it), his writing is one of his most underrated faculties. As for Cumberbatch, I would love to see him stretch his abilities and play an up-and-coming Jedi. Him being a Sith just seems like a bit of a typecast.

  3. I don’t like the fact that a Star Trek actor could be coming. I think they need to be kept separate. Anyways, I’ll accept it as it is if it happens. I like Cumberbatch anyway. For the love of god, could we finally get something official????

    • ^^^Lol you do realize this is not real, and all actors are professional pretenders right???

  4. I can’t wait to see what the new dark lord will look and what BC will hopefully bring to the role .

  5. Awesome, Star Trek, Hobbit, and now Star Wars, if true the guy is becoming a superstar. Glad to see real artists making that money. I am a fan of the original trilogy and am glad to see a great team coming together for these.

    • He just needs to become one of the Doctors on Dr. Who next!!

  6. The last Star Trek movie was the most epic film ever, not just because it was called “Star Trek” (though that brand name inclusion certainly had a lot to do with it) but because it had a great actor in the role of a villain more memorable than the original version of Khan. And the story made perfect sense, too.
    Oh, I can’t wait for this!

  7. Could he be the younger clone of Emperor Palpatine/Dath Sideous from the comics?

  8. Seeing him as a Jedi would be an interesting role for him to play but as long he’s a good villain that’s fine by me.

  9. I hope this doesnt happen. Cumberbatch doesnt need to be a villian in every movie, he can be likeeable

    • That’s what Sherlock is for :)

    • He’s the hero in Parade’s End.

  10. Cumberbatch should star in more films than just being typecast as a villain.

  11. RIGHT ON joe didly and art have the right vibe !

  12. He is sooooooo good actor, he will do great as a Jedi Knight and as a villain. So i don’t care as long as he is in the movies!

  13. Grand Admiral Thrawn???

  14. dang, superman vs batman. star trek meets the star wars universe?? hulk
    vs the minions?? khan gets transported to the star wars universe via
    crossover?? avengers vs the sith lords ?? pirates of the carribean vs
    the guardians of the galaxy?? are there not other actors that can be reached out to.

  15. BC as thrawn would be AWSOME but i think they want to go into something new and fresh and i’m cool with that given the talent involved . Just one request …MANDALORIANS !!!!

  16. Khaaaaaan’t wait.

    • Wow. Just Wow.

  17. Is this a good thing? I mean, I would love to see Cumberbatch as a Sith but he would definitely overshadow the younger cast which they plan to cast. I just hope they have some presence on the other side of the force (wink-wink).

    • If the writing and acting was good enough, he wouldn’t overshadow anybody.

      People thought Brad Pitt would overshadow the rest of the cast of Snatch but Jason Statham and Stephen Graham held their own with him, Mike Reid managed to show his presence for the first time in a feature film, Vinnie Jones showed he could actually act and Benicio del Toro managed to matter despite not having any lines.

      Although most people only remember that movie for Alan Ford as the highly quotable Brick Top.

      Either way, it’s an example out of many of a movie where people thought a big actor would cast a shadow over everyone else and the final product didn’t turn out that way at all.

  18. Star Trek Into the Dark Side.

    I really hope JJ Abrams makes Star Wars Ep VII look and feel different than his Star Trek universe, which will be pretty hard since Star Trek 2 screamed Star Wars. What I’m looking forward to the most is Michael Arndt’s script. That’s really the wild card in all of this.

  19. I would love to see him play the role of a Sith-hunter. Being on the good guys side, but driven by things from his past to trakc down and kill as many Siths as he can. Dark yes, violent yes, and mysterious.

  20. Say Rob, regarding the update news,
    I do not think Benedict’s reps would issue
    such an emphatic denial if he was indeed cast.

    Maybe no comment, no information on that, etc.
    if indeed he was and Disney did not want it known.

  21. I know I will get ripped apart for saying this,and I know it’s been stated time and time again that none of the expanded universe will be used, but throw some blue makeup on Cumberbatch and he would make a great grand-admiral Thrawn. Now that I think of it and considering every officer in the imperial navy was British he might actually be playing some grand-admiral(doesn’t have to be Thrawn you know!)or warlord.

  22. Is this a stupid rumor because he played a villain in STAR TREK ?…smh

    • This was not a stupid rumor and no one seems to be hating it.
      The fact that he worked with JJ before added to its credibility.

      • yeah I thought somebody made that up. I really want Cumberbatch to play a Sith villain. You know how rumors are spread now and days

        • A rumor a day it seems these days.
          And many are flat out made up.

  23. I’d love to see Benedict play a Jedi. Not a Sith lord. Hopefully, he’ll have more screen time than he did in Star Trek. Make it happen, people.

  24. I think he should play Grand Admiral Thrawn… Perfect casting; jussayin

  25. Hmmm… I don’t see why he wouldn’t be bad in the movie but I’m not sure what role he would play. I can’t tell how well he would do as a Jedi or Sith, but maybe an imperial pilot? Maybe his voice/character is too strong/dramatic for that, maybe not.

  26. It’ll be a mashup of EU material and new stuff, just how the Trek films were a mash up of classics. They will not outright ignore the EU like the Marvel Star Wars comics. You’ll see Thrawn, Palpatine Clones, Mara Jade, Jacen, Jaina, Anakin and Ben… in some form or another.

    • and you know this how? Because nobody involved in Episode 7 have revealed any of the plot details beyond a brief description of the actors they’re looking for.

      • Sure, no one knows for sure. But I’m confident, as it’s only common sense. *Some* of the EU is excellent material (TIMOTHY ZAHN), and they have made (and still make) too much of it to ignore it completely. They have said it is a great place to mine for stories no? Maybe that was Trek. But Lucas had to sign off on all the EU books plot lines and has been quoted saying something along the lines of Dark Empire was very close to what he had in mind for post Jedi. Originally in ‘Heir to the Empire’, Also C’Boath was going to be a Kenobi clone and Lucas prevented it. So if VII comes out totally ignoring and changing ALL of this it better be as amazing as the originals for fans to forget the stacks of books, comics, and toys we’ve been sold. Disney is way smarter than that, see Marvel. JJ is an amazing filmmaker, and a star wars fan too. I’d be surprised if he never read, or never goes and checks out any of the EU in making this film.

  27. He’s got Sith Lord written all over him :)

  28. I’m sorry I can’t get excited about this at all. I thought Star Trek into darkness was an awful mess of a movie & the idea of this repeating with Star Wars fills me total vomit.