‘Star Wars: Episode 7′: Saoirse Ronan & Benedict Cumberbatch Rumored to Join Cast

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 19th, 2013 at 12:27 pm,

star wars episode 7 production release date Star Wars: Episode 7: Saoirse Ronan & Benedict Cumberbatch Rumored to Join Cast

Disney has a good shot at dominating both the global and U.S. box office in 2015 (despite some intense competition), between Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: Episode VII invading theaters that year. Both tentpoles will begin filming around the same time in 2014, yet so far it’s only been Joss Whedon’s superhero teamup sequel that’s made any casting announcements.

Episode VII is expected to bring back Episode IV-VI stars Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill, but otherwise director J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars installment is starting from scratch, casting-wise. The biggest name rumored for the movie so far has been Benedict Cumberbatch, but the acclaimed actor (who portrayed the antagonist in Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness) has denied being made an offer.

Latino Review has fired back against the official denial, though it’s (again) worth mentioning that Cumberbatch has never claimed that he won’t appear in Episode VII (he only said “No offer has been made.”). The site goes on to mention that the actor’s role in the next Star Wars film will be “very small,” but that it sets him up for a “much bigger” role in Episodes VIII & IX.

saoirse ronan mary queen scots Star Wars: Episode 7: Saoirse Ronan & Benedict Cumberbatch Rumored to Join Cast

In addition, LR is reporting that Saoirse Ronan has auditioned for one of the female lead roles in Episode VII, with the possibilities including a female villain and/or the daughter of Han and Leia Solo. You might recall that the Oscar-nominated actress was previously reported to have been the basis for Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron; though, presently, Elizabeth Olsen is all but officially-verified to play the character in Whedon’s film.

Ronan joins a growing list of young actresses who are rumored to have auditioned for a leading role in Episode VII, joining the ranks of Rachel Hurd-Wood (Peter Pan) and Ksenia Solo (Lost Girl). The Hanna and Atonement actress is a plausible rumored pick, in part because she already has an established connection to Disney and Lucasfilm through her experience with Marvel; not to mention, she was going to headline the Mouse House’s Order of the Seven before the Snow White-inspired project was put into turnaround. Moreover, Ronan has a number of acclaimed performances under her belt, yet she hasn’t been given a franchise to call her own just yet (hint, hint).

Star Wars 7 Benedict Cumberbatch Sith Star Wars: Episode 7: Saoirse Ronan & Benedict Cumberbatch Rumored to Join Cast

Cumberbatch, who shared the screen (briefly) with Ronan in Atonement, had been previously rumored to play a Sith Lord in the third Star Wars trilogy (beginning with Abrams’ Episode VII). That story aligns with the latest claim from LR, with the suggestion being that Cumberbatch as the antagonist will be a (if you will pardon the wording) phantom menace in Abrams’ film, who is biding his time and planning to take on a new apprentice (Ronan?) – maybe seeking counsel from his deceased master, Darth Sidious (a.k.a. Emperor Palpatine)?

That’s pure speculative reasoning that is based on unsubstantiated rumors (in other words, we’re spitballing), so take it as such. However, it is worth noting that some of the recent Episode VII rumors fit smoothly with one another. In addition, they suggest how the story and script by Oscar-winner Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) might thread elements from previous Star Wars movies into the narrative fabric of a new installment without it feeling derivative or unnecessary (see in related news: the Star Wars spinoffs being origin stories for characters like Han Solo).

Let us know if you are hoping for Benedict Cumberbatch and Saoirse Ronan to be cast in Episode VII, and whether you would prefer to see them both play heroes, villains or a combination of the two.


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

Source: Latino Review

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. I think both would be great in Star Wars

  2. I agree with Ronnie. Both would be great in Star Wars. Perhaps this is why Ronan isn’t going to do Scarlett Witch. All that aside, this is from Latino Review. They make s*** up all the time. Why do you guys even report on what they say?

      • I’ll give them the Thanos thing but anyone who has seen the old Trek movies saw Khan coming. I’m not even a Trek fan, I’ve seen the old movie twice, and I saw it coming. Bleeding cool is better and I don’t doubt that they’re auditioning every young pretty actress out there for these roles. I also found that rumor to be a little more plausible simply because she apparently isn’t interested in an Avengers movie. As an up and coming actress, what role could possibly dissuade her from such a colossal box office hit? Star Wars. Makes sense. When it comes to Latino Review, el Mayimbe in particular, I rarely see any of their stuff come to fruition. I don’t expect you to bash another journalist/writer but personally, when I see “According to Latino Review” in articles on SC, I immediately question the validity of the information. Nothing against you. SC has some of the best written and insightful articles for film and TV news around. I think I’m just biased. Also that Thanos thing was like, 2 years ago. That’s eons in internet time.

  3. Yes, please.

  4. Sounds good on both counts.

  5. I would be thrilled if Benedict was in the movie, and I like what I’ve seen of Ronan so she would be great too. I think it would be cool for her to be the daughter of Han/Leia. She has that look.

  6. I’ve said this on my Facebook page. I don’t take anything Latino Review says seriously. However if the studio can’t get Scarlett Johansson to be the lead female villain. the Miss Ronan can work just as well in my opinion. However I’d rather see Michael Fassbender as the lead male villain in the saga than Mr. Cumberbatch.

  7. As for the role of Jaina Solo I still hoping for Bella Thorne to be casted officially and prove all the nay sayers wrong.

    • Oh boy. Could you imagine the response that would get!?

  8. “Auditioned” does not mean “Offered the role” does not mean “Accepted the offer” does not mean “Will be in the movie”.

    Anyone given the chance to audition for a role in any of the upcoming SW movies and/or TV shows would be crazy not to do the audition. So, until we’re told that [fill in name] has been offered the [fill in character] role and has accepted the offer and will start filming in [fill in month] of 2014/2015 then they can spout off every actor/actresses name out there has auditioned. We don’t care until it’s official.

    Unfortunately, despite what Kathleen Kennedy said, it looks like we’re not going to be getting much of anything until just before the movie hits screens. I almost wish they wouldn’t have even announced that Disney bought LFL and will be making new movies and TV shows last fall. The frustration of “not knowing much of anything” is…well…frustrating. 😉

  9. can you imagine his voice???
    i would watch it only because of cumberbatch

  10. Wow, two articles back to back that have zero truth to them at all. Rob & Kofi must get paid by the word.

    Beyond that, I’m all in for a website name change…

    Screen Rumor Rants of Zero Truth.

    Seriously Star Trek, and Star Wars having the same villian….. Please.. What studio head is going to ok that.

    • “Rumored to join cast.” There doesn’t need to be truth because rumors aren’t the truth.

      And if you’ve seen Cumberbatch in ANYTHING you would understand why Disney would want him for Star Wars. He hardly had 20 minutes of total screen time in Star Trek. Star Wars may have him be the antagonist for THREE movies. People would instantly forget him in Star Trek Into Darkness. So don’t make silly comments without thinking first.

    • Not sure where the “zero truth” claim is coming from, considering Rob’s Black Panther article is based on Stan Lee’s official quote, Kofi’s Agent Carter article is based on a report from Deadline (a pretty reliable news source), and, as I mentioned above, a couple of sites have now indicated that Ronan did in fact audition for Episode VII.

      As for the potential double-casting of Cumberbatch: if Chris Evans and Ryan Reynolds can play multiple superhero characters, why can’t Cumberbatch play multiple sci-fi franchise villains? 😉

      • Sandy…

        You forgot an even more direct contradiction to “Todd”‘s blathering: Who, indeed, would allow someone involved with ST to also be involved with SW? I mean, after all, it’s not like they got the same director for both…

        Oh, wait.

        Don’t you love when dunderheads babble? 😀

        • Ha, true, I thought about mentioning that but figured if I did, then I’d just hear a complaint about how Abrams isn’t acting in the movie, etc., etc.

          But yeah, still a valid point. :-)

    • It is JJ Abrams. His creativity ends with mystery boxes and screen flares. Plus he owes Cumberbatch, Peg, and Mendez for send them all out to blatantly lie when they said that Cumberbatch’s character was “not Khan”. So JJ owes them, and I would expect to see all three in the SW movies. Well, that would be if I was going to see them. Of course I will not. It will be a train-wreck like ST:Into Darkness where we all empathized with Khan fighting the evil Starfleet to protect his crew. A+ Brilliant that was.

      As a Sith lord, he would be the hero. He could kill Luke, Lea, R2, and Han, and we would still cheer for him. He is a better actor, with stronger charisma, and he just comes off as smarter than everyone else (even in non-Sherlock / non-Khan roles).

      But JJ just likes to just make things up (red matter, ejecting warp drives but not getting sucked into the black hole, or that cold fusion bombs make things cold and fuse them together) and the studios will just air-drop money on him, so expect it to happen. Then they will all act surprised, and try to squirm out of it. Can an entire trilogy be Star Trek 5? We shall see…

  11. I am really not a fan of ronan, i find her performances rather flat. But ill give her the benifit of thr doubt and say she fits the universe well. Id like to see cumberbatch as a jedi not a sith and jonathon rhys meyer as a sith

    • Thank you i dont want him to continue the down the path as a villain

  12. F*Q YES!!! Saoirse Ronan has incredible presence, bad-a$$ery, and acting skills for her age. And Benedict is simply breathtaking. My only problem is that Benedict has already been a villain in the other biggest sci-fi franchise in history. I don’t think there should be ANY major crossovers for the sake of originality. I would still see the movie, but I would be upset. The character would HAVE to be unrecognizably different than Khan.

  13. The photo of Ronan from ‘Hanna’ reminds me of the scene where she kills and cuts open a reindeer. It doesn’t take a great stretch of the imagination to picture her digging in tauntaun guts on Hoth with Harrison Ford.

  14. Cumberbatch as a Jedi would be awesome. Would be neat to see him put those excellent skills to work as a hero. Kinda predictable to see him play a villain.

  15. the two of them would be amazing. Interesting that they were both the baddies in Atonement.

  16. I’d like to see Cumberbatch start bad and turn to the good side

  17. Cumberbatch, Hurd-Wood and Ronan are all great choices.

    I just hope that for the sake of the films, they don’t bring Pettyfer or Zac Efron on board. Well, unless the latter plays the part of a drug dealer selling death sticks.

  18. Cumberbatch! Definitely 😀 I’m dying to see him as a Sith Lord. That would be outstanding.

    Saorse Ronan…not so much, but I guess I’ll just wait and see.

  19. I love cumberbatch but haven’t seen Ronan in anything but I hear she’s great, look forward to the movie and I think they’ll both be fantastic if they’re in it.

  20. I would love to see Cumberbatch plsy a jedi who turns to the dark side i.e Jacen Solo or even as Han Solo in a spin-off as I don’t want him type-cast as a villian . And I would prefer Chloe Moretz to Saoirse Ronan as young female lead, I find Ronan boring as an actress.

  21. Everyone currently working in films right now is going to be rumored to be in the new Star Wars movies.

  22. Ronan would be great, she’s awesome as in Hanna with Eric Bana. She’s definitely an athletic and dramatic actor. I’m already sick and tired of the all the Benedict Cumberbatch fangasms. He’s really not THAT great. He’s a serviceable actor sure, but he really doesn’t appear all that athletic, I wasn’t buying his strength in Into Darkness with a turkey chin like that. They can find and do better for the male lead. I’d almost rather it be more of an unknown who’s done good work in indie flicks or the small screen.

  23. If Cumberbatch happens to not be in the films.. at least they could use his cool voice for a cyborg voiceover or something.. yes a la darth vader!

  24. This movie will be bada$$ its not gonna top Superman/Batman but it will be a classic.

  25. This is interesting. take the following:

    Lucas says the expanded Universe is not canon

    Disney will in no way ever represent the Yuuzhan Vong properly, they couldn’t, it’s not what that company is.

    It’s obvious they’re interested in continuing the Sith / Jedi story. That’s easier for a younger audience to understand.

    What they can do, transplant the entire Darth Bane rule of two storyline and change names to suit them. Cumberbatch easily fits the stature of Darth Bane (or Darth Whatever). Ronan could easily be Bane’s apprentice Zannah (or whatever name).

    so now that I’ve blown up the expanded universe, let’s take it a bit further.

    Very few Jedi left, very few Sith are left. Why not have a Bane on the power level of Skywalker and a Zannah to take on Jaina Solo?

    maybe I’m taking the wrong tack, but from the casting rumors, this seems to make the most sense to me.


  26. After that whole “Cumberbatch is ABSOLUTELY NOT playing Khan” thing, I take any denials from either him or JJ with a rather large grain of salt. I’d prefer Chloe Moretz, but I’m certainly not going to complain if Ronan is cast, she’s really good.

  27. Saoirse Ronan is a no brainer. Her very cool calm demeanor and as Ian pointed out, her dramatic athleticism would greatly benefit her in a role fitting a jedi or sith. As for Benedict Cumberbatch, I had to really let my trek geek out to convince me he was the representative of humanity’s worst evil, that superior ego that is to be Khan. Meh, w/e it’s made and had phasers and some crappy photon torpedoes that didn’t even remotely identify with the original franchise, scratch it to an alternate universe I guess. Now he’s to be a sith. A cold calculating patient bred/mentored evil that wields a lightsaber. Even the CG image in the article couldn’t convince me. Please JJ use a different stamp to brand the empire that you’re building. I am sorry Mr. Cumberbatch I picture you more as a mad scientist archetype than an evil knight, like a Moriarty character.

    • He plays Sherlock Holmes, he can do cold and calculating. I’m a Trek fan and I had no problem buying him as Khan, he was scary. He was brilliant, manipulative, ruthless, and brutal (he crushed a man’s head like a grape with his bare hands). Cumberbatch would be a FANTASTIC Sith.

  28. It sounds promising… Han and Leia’s daughter and a new, long-lost Sith Lord sound like a given. But I would still like to see some cast members from the first trilogy (Episodes I, II, and III) make a reappearance. It would be foolish not to show Hayden Christensen playing Anakin’s spirit in one or all of the next three films.

    One major thing that hasn’t been touched upon yet is that once Luke takes up residence in the Jedi Temple, the dead bodies of the fallen Jedi would be disposed of, and I also think that both Obi-Wan and Anakin would instruct Luke to destroy ALL of the holograph files that captured Anakin killing the Jedi (including Jocasta Nu) in the library. Neither Anakin nor Luke would want that to remain in the archives. In a legal and technical sense, one good deed Obi-Wan could do for Anakin here, which would further redeem him, is having his crimes ‘stricken from the record’, as no Jedi were left alive (as far as we know) to condemn Anakin anyway.

    I’m of the mind that this is a logical story point that simply HAS to happen. J.J. Abrams needs to do this at some point in Episodes VII, VIII, or IX.