Last week, the Star Wars: Episode VII rumor mill started churning with potential casting news. The process is underway, and people can already start throwing their hatred or support towards any actor who might be in any way connected with the upcoming sequel. In addition to mentioning Rachel Hurd-Wood (Solomon Kane) and Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four) as possible contenders for roles in the movie, the report also said “major casting news” could have been as released as early as the same day (obviously, it wasn’t). But if that news is still close to breaking, what would qualify it as major? Perhaps if the casting involves one of the most popular actors working today: Benedict Cumberbatch.
Hit the jump for why Cumberbatch picking up a lightsaber may not be the craziest rumor we’ve heard thus far.
According to Film Chronicles [via Bleeding Cool], Cumberbatch will re-team with his Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams for the film, and there are no details about the role. As Film Chronicles points out from an interview with Total Film, Abrams and Cumberbatch were both fans of Star Trek, but their hearts have always been with Star Wars. Cumberbatch told Total Film,
“I’ve already asked him if I can be a lightsaber and we’re in talks – about whirring sounds and the rates for the lights and everything [laughs].
“I thought, ‘Yeah, I grew up with them,’ and I just looked recently at when they were released and now I’m like, ‘No, I didn’t grow up with them, I was born with them.’ They were a huge part of my background, and my upbringing.
“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.”
So he’s fan of Star Wars. Who isn’t? And he’s worked with Abrams before. So what? As we recently reported, Cumberbatch dropped out of Guillermo Del Toro‘s Crimson Peak, and no reason was given. Bleeding Cool points out that Del Toro’s film and Episode VII are due to start filming at about the same time. Since Cumberbatch can’t be two places at once, perhaps he’s opted to be in a galaxy far, far away.