The website Film Chronicles is reporting
and Star Trek Into Darkness
actor Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast in Star Wars Episode VII, and that an official announcement will be coming soon.
Cumberbatch had previously been cast in Guillermo Del Toro's Crimson Peak
-- whose production will coincide with that of Episode VII -- but he dropped out
of that project last week.
While Cumberbatch most recently worked with J.J. Abrams on that "other" Star franchise, Film Chronicles points out that he actually has a lifelong love of Star Wars
, as he told 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."
Cumberbatch also joked in that same interview that "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."
Bleeding Cool says
that Film Chronicles "focus[es] almost exclusively on reviews, interviews and well-sourced content rather than speculation or rumours," which is an encouraging sign as far as this rumor goes. I will also say that I heard this same rumor independently last Wednesday from a source with strong industry connections. Film Chronicles' report only bolsters my confidence in this rumor.
Last week, in a separate rumor report, Latino Review suggested
that a major casting announcement would be made "very soon," and it's looking likely that that announcement will be Cumberbatch.
We will of course keep you updated as we hear more about this and other Episode VII rumors.UPDATE:
Cumberbatch's representative has denied that he has been cast in Episode VII, telling the New York Daily News
, "There is no truth to the rumour Benedict has been cast in Star Wars. I think the rumours are circling because JJ and Benedict have just recently had a wonderful time working together on Star Trek." So that appears to be that.