The latest Star Wars rumor bouncing around the internet is that Benedict Cumberbatch is joining the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. Cumberbatch, who stars in an impressive three Oscar-buzzy films this fall (plus The Hobbit), is sort of the actor du jour. He’s also previously worked with director J.J. Abrams, in Star Trek Into Darkness. So could the rumor be true?
Cumberbatch, who, despite his name, is an actor and not a benevolent cave-dwelling troll, recently dropped out of Guillermo del Toro‘s Crimson Peak, without giving a reason. This could be that reason. Star Wars: Episode VII is set to start filming early next year and Cumberbatch would need to clear his schedule in order to accommodate what will likely be an intensive shoot. However, there doesn’t seem to be much of a credible source to back up this rumor; The Film Chronicles, which originally reported it, doesn’t provide any source for the inside information.
Cumberbatch has, however, previously spoken about being a fan of Star Wars. While promoting Star Trek, Cumberbatch joked about being cast in Star Wars: “I’ve already asked [Abrams] if I can be a lightsaber and we’re in talks — about whirring sounds and the rates for the lights and everything.”
He also talked of his love for Han Solo:
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.
There’s no word what role Cumberbatch would be playing, but then again this is just a rumor. Lucasfilm is expected to make some sort of big announcement this week about Star Wars casting, so perhaps we’ll know more before the weekend.
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