Has Benedict Cumberbatch joined Star Wars Episode VII? That could potentially be the first official casting announcement for the upcoming J.J. Abrams sequel.
According to Film Chronicles, Cumberbatch has indeed joined the film that will reunite him with J.J. Abrams after he recently played the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness. They don’t announce their source, thus we’re running with the news as rumor for now.
Cumberbatch has publicly acknowledged his love for Star Wars in past interviews and even joked during promotion for Into Darkness that he was talking to Abrams about joining the film. It might be odd if Cumberbatch came on to play a villain in consecutive Abrams’ projects. Then again, it’s odd that Abrams is directing a Star Wars film right after Star Trek.
One of the biggest pieces to this puzzle is news a few days ago that Cumberbatch had abruptly and unexpectedly pulled out of appearing in Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak. No official reason was cited by Cumberbatch’s camp other than it wasn’t due to another project. That statement could have been planted by that sneaky Bad Robot robot who thrives off misdirection (re: Cumberbatch’s last role) and keeping secrets.
Cumberbatch would be a huge coup for Abrams and Lucasfilm. In addition to his turn in Into Darkness, he’s known round the world for playing the lead in BBC’s Sherlock. He also appeared in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, and will voice the dragon Smaug in this holiday season’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
With production on Star Wars Episode VII expected to begin early next year, we’re moving into a period when casting announcements or at least discussions will start to leak out.
Source: Film Chronicles