‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ Cast Adds Benedict Cumberbatch? [Updated]

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 3rd, 2013 at 1:58 pm,

Sherlock BBC Season 4 Star Wars: Episode 7 Cast Adds Benedict Cumberbatch? [Updated]

It wasn’t long after J.J. Abrams had been confirmed to direct Star Wars: Episode VII that rumors began to circulate, with regard to the possibility that select cast members from his Star Trek movies will join him in a galaxy far, far away. One of the more popular options is Benedict Cumberbatch, as the fan-favorite star of the BBC’s Sherlock television mini-series (and the antagonist in Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness) is an outspoken fanboy of George Lucas’ intergalactic saga.

We’re now hearing that Cumberbatch may, in fact, be the first new addition to the Episode VII cast, which also includes returning Star Wars players Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill (though they are technically unconfirmed for the time being). Moreover, there are a few reasons to think that the latest Episode VII rumor is more than all smoke and no fire, unlike the recent online rumblings about Zac Efron and Ryan Gosling having been offered roles.

For one, Film Chronicles – the site responsible for breaking this story – refers to Cumberbatch being onboard for Episode VII, but without using the word “rumor” as a crutch in case their source turns out to be incorrect. As Bleeding Cool (which picked up the story earlier) points out, Film Chronicles “focus almost exclusively on reviews, interviews and well-sourced content rather than speculation or rumors” – meaning, if the site is willing to take a leap of faith this big, then it’s presumably because the Film Chronicles staff has good reason to believe that the story will pan out.

Moreover, it was just under two weeks ago (at the time of writing this) that Cumberbatch departed director Guillermo del Toro’s Gothic haunted house feature Crimson Peak – a project that will be in production at the same time as Episode VII – with no official reason being offered, with regard to why Cumberbatch had suddenly dropped out (hint, hint). Finally, although it’s not (yet) official, the leaked Episode VII casting breakdown includes two roles that would make sense for Cumberbatch, age-wise: a “Forty something male, fit, military type” and a “Thirty something male, intellectual. Apparently doesn’t need to be fit” (Cumberbatch is still in tip-top condition following his Into Darkness muscle gain).

Benedict Cumberbatch as John Harrison in Star Trek Into Darkness1 Star Wars: Episode 7 Cast Adds Benedict Cumberbatch? [Updated]

Benedict Cumberbatch as [REDACTED] in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

Longtime Screen Rant readers know that our staff would gladly turn out to see a movie called Benedict Cumberbatch Reads the Phone Book, so it should come as little surprise to learn that we are onboard with Cumberbatch bringing his powerful screen presence and mix of dignity/humor to the Star Wars universe, no matter what his role is. Therefore, it’s just icing on the cake that the actor also possesses a strong appreciation for the lasting impact of Lucas’ space opera.

As he previously stated, in an interview with Total Film:

“I was much more connected to [Star Wars] as a kid, in the way that a lot of kids are because it’s immediate storytelling, very simple – a beautifully, outrageously simple narrative in a way – and a wonderful three-act melodrama, opera. And I loved them. I really, really loved those films and I always wanted to be Han Solo. Everything Harrison Ford did I just thought was the coolest thing ever.”

Until further notice, however, it’s best to treat this Episode VII news as an enticing, yet unconfirmed rumor and nothing more (or less, for that matter). That said, in case you need more reason to justify hoping that this story may well be accurate: Cumberbatch, in addition to having an established working relationship with Abrams, is best known for the characters he plays and not for his celebrity persona (yet, anyway). In other words, he’s as much the sort of actor who has traditionally been cast in a Star Wars movie as the recently-rumored young candidates Alex Pettyfer and Rachel Hurd-Wood.

Reports continue to circulate that Disney and Lucasfilm are on the verge of making a major casting announcement for Episode VII, so stay tuned for an update on this story (good or bad) in the near future.

[Update: Additional details indicate Cumberbatch may play a Force-using villain for the entire trilogy!]

[Update 2: 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.]

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Star Wars: Episode VII is tentatively slated to reach theaters by Summer 2015, though it could wind up delayed until the Winter Holiday Season (according to the latest reports). Again, we’ll be sure and keep you posted on the situation.

Source: Film Chronicles [via Bleeding Cool]

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. I really hope he isnt a sith, cause with his voice in the hobbit and as khan id like him to show a likeable side. Dont want a type casted as a villian. Tho he is perfect for the universe and would make a phenomenal jedi or sith

    • 30 something intellectual fits him best imo. Which to me seems like a jedi

    • You should watch him in “Sherlock” then. Intellectual, intense, funny, sometimes a jerk, sometimes a sweetheart … it’s good stuff. Amazon Prime and Netflix carry the first two seasons (series, as the Brits call it). His interplay with Martin Freeman is just magical.

    • Awesome news if it’s true. I thought villain when I first read this to be honest, although I think he’d make a great Jedi, too.

  2. I really wasn’t about the outside books, but he’d make a great Thrawn with blue skin and red eyes.

    • EXACTLY what I was thinking!!!

    • If it’s supposed to occur 30 years after RotJ, and it’s consistent with the timeline of the EU, it’s not possible for BC to play thrawn.

      • Disney has declared the whole expanded universe to be non-canon.

        • Link to a quote of that. I recall someone mentioning that Disney isn’t going to use the EU. Well, if Disney uses Admiral Thrawn, then Disney is lying.

      • They could still do it, just change it a little. I’d rather them change some things and still use the character instead not at all.

        • Wel, they’d have to deviate from the timeline of the EU.

  3. Cumberbatch would be a PERFECT casting for Jagged Fel. I hope this is the case.

  4. “Benedict Cumberbatch Rumored to be in Everything”

    Source: Tumbler

    • +1,000,000

      I was about to say the EXACT same thing. I like Cumberbatch as an actor, I really do, but I don’t want to see him everywhere I turn.

      That’d be like getting Daniel Day-Lewis, arguably one of the greatest actors of the current generation and of all time, to be be in a movie every other month. I love DDL, but I would get tired of his face popping up in trailers every day.

      • The things is with DDL skill and transformation ability you probably wouldnt even know he was everywhere lol but yeah cumberbatch name is rumored a lot but not near on the level of gosling and fassbender

        • Very true.

          DDL pulls a Johnny Depp Willy Wonka in nearly every movie he’s in.

          • The only one he is pretty reconizable in was last of the mohicans but it was still a good performance

  5. He’d be perfect in an role. He’s so versatile. I would like him to have a bigger role than we saw in STID. Also he;s such a great comedy actor that I;d like to see some of that on show. But he was great in the action scenes so I hope we see more of that gorgeous body.

  6. Please let this be true . This would go a long way to making me feel better about disney being in control . After that steaming pile called LONE RANGER , i was a little worried .

  7. McDiarmid is allegedly in it too, rumor he later personally denied was even true.


  9. ma and my sister Abigail were aguing should he be a sisth or a jedi … I won hes gonna be a Jedi

  10. Perfect ! I don’t care what role it is.. he has to be in Star Wars!

  11. Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Wars? I would love to see this become a reality. He couldn’t be Thrawn because this story is supposed to be set 30 years after Jedi. Luke would still be the main character. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s one of the Solo children. If he is than there’s an E.U. story line I hope they do.

  12. Who cares what Bleeding Cool says?

  13. Please God, let it be true. Let Mr. Cumberbatch be in episode VII and in return we give you Efron and Pettyffer.

  14. Would be cool if he was one of Luke Skywalkers first students in the new Jedi Council, and now on the verge of becoming a Master Jedi.

    I can see Disney making 6 more ‘Episode Films’ over the next 15 years. I am predicting that Luke dies in Episode VII/VIII, therefore I would like this casting, if it turns out to be true, as I am happy with Benedict Cumberbatch carrying the franchise.

    • I could see Cumberpatch as a master jedi already (has that more-than-you-know quality) or i could see him as the next upstart that thinks he knows more than the jedi do (and has a better way) and follows through on it.

  15. Also, if this does turn out to be true, Sherlock, Star Trek and Star Wars – cudos Benedict, cudos!!

  16. So, Benedict is going to become J.J’s… wait for it… Cumberbitch?


    • That would be a horrible misfortune as Jar Jar Abrams is the only director who ever got bad acting out of this guy.

      • Bad acting? From who? The kids from super 8 killed it. The only one i can consider from all he has done is maybe karl urban. Idk why he seems very hammy as bones, idk if bones is suppose to be that way or what. I love urban but thats to much

      • LOL if you’re referring to his PRAISED performance in Star Trek Into Darkness? He hasn’t had a bad performance yet.

        • Indeed. Slightly harsh. I have problems with the scripting of his character in the movie, but I think Benny more than nailed it.

          • He was great in star trek but extremely underused and never stole a scene from spock, quintos acts circles around everyone in those movies

      • What????????? Benedict was absolutely amazing in Star Trek, actually the best villain of like the last 2 years I would say. And so is the entire cast. Pine does some great acting, and so does Quinto. Also the cast of Super 8 shined, especially Elle Fanning. And, Hoffman is MI3 was amazing. People love to talk s***. So annoying honestly.

  17. I’d like to see BC play Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus.

  18. Hope this is true cause if it is…thrn its great news. Cumberbatch as the first new person to join the Star Wars universe sounds good imo.

  19. I LOL’d at the “Benedict Cumberbatch Reads the Phone Book” line… because it’s true. I would be the first in line to see that film. :D

    • He’d make that phone book his b@tch.

  20. I just cant wait to see a LightSaber lens flare

    • Me neither Skywalker thats gonna be so awesome!!!

  21. So far this is my favorite casting news for episode 7 Cumberbatch would be awesome in a this movie but i wouldn’t want him as a bad guy i would like to see him as something different to show a different side to him thats different from both Khan and Sherlock, i would love to see him as a space pirate like Han Solo i think that would be so cool.

  22. I’m all for this. Cumberbatch is awesome in Sherlock and as Kahn. The only things that have me worried is having all of my Princess Leia fantasies ruined because Carrie Fisher looks more like Jabba now and the fact that Mark Hamill can’t act (see: everything he’s ever been in, except maybe ROTJ) and can stand to lose about fifty pounds.

    • Mark Hamill can’t act?

      Let’s look at the fact that he pretty much ditched live action after Star Wars and headed into voice acting (and if you think Mark Hamill can’t voice act, you’re out of your mind).

      Not like Star Wars was built upon outstanding acting to begin with. In fact, a lot of the Shakespeare over acting made it enjoyable as it’s own thing.

      Which is why I don’t get why everyone expects actors in Star Wars to get Oscars. Cool, you might have Cumberbatch. You realize his type of acting doesn’t really “fit” into the style, right?

      Sure, he could adjust. But the acting in Star Wars isn’t what made it great 90% of the time, it was the universe and writing. Which is one reason I don’t bash Hayden Christensen or Samuel L. Jackson left and right: I didn’t expect a ground-breaking performance.

      • Ha, everyone expects actors in SW to win Oscars? Hyperbole alert.

  23. Wow… I really hope he’ll be Palpatine’s clone or disciple… Think about it: he’s been KHAN, he’s being Smaug AND Sauron’s necromancer… now he’s probably going to be a Sith Lord… Awesome that would be…

    Next, let’s have him as Ernst Stavro Blofeld for the next Bond flick…and if they ever do a Harry Potter prequel, he MUST play Lord Voldemort in the original war :-)

    • Daniel Craig looking into the eyes of Benedict Cumberbatch?

      That would send chills up everyone’s spine, especially Benedict’s. There’s something about Craig that makes him seem so intimidating even when he’s sitting down during an interview.

      • Throw Javier Bardem in there as well to up the ante.

    • JJ is going to crossover Star Trek and Star Wars… Darth Khan here we come.

      • May the force live long and prosper!

      • I just had a flashback to the Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe game with Dark Khan.

        It even had a Trek reference in it from Joker: “KHAAAAAAAAN!”

  24. Well, you can’t have a “Star Wars” movie without an English thespian in the cast. Seriously.

    This story seems very legit. It almost seems perfect that Cumberbatch would be in Episode VII since he has already worked with Abrams and would be a superb Jedi.

    I doubt he’d be a Sith since he’s already gone down the dark path in “Into Darkness.”

    The real question is: Do ‘phone books’ still even exist??

  25. Well. Why not. I do not think that Benedict would fit being a descendent of Luke/Leia/Han as a family member of theirs. But obviously he could make an intense Jedi type.

    BUT HEY – as a few others have said, there is one possibility, however remote, that would blow our minds – THRAWN. If they are ignoring the Expanded Universe timeline, everything there post-ROTJ is undone for the films anyway. Even if this is 20 or 30 years later, they can still use Thrawn. That would be something.

  26. I went to the theater this weekend to watch Kutcher (meh) in “Jobs” at behest of my brother and in the previews I saw Cumberpatch in no less than two additional well presented movies.
    He seems to be the popular kid on the block in hollywood.

  27. NOOOO.

    Now he’s Khan, then a Star Wars guy, i’m getting confused.

  28. Cumberbatch has to be Thrawn IMHO! He would own that role!

  29. My name is THRAWN!!!