As one would expect, a number of actors have been rumored to be part of J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII, but few have come with quite the certainty of last week's headline: "Benedict Cumberbatch is in Star Wars VII". The site that boasted it is generally well regarded, albeit not really known for breaking casting news. But with Cumberbatch dropping out of Guillermo Del Toro's horror Crimson Peak just days earlier, the pieces all seemed to fit. That was until the War Horse star signed on for James Gray's The Lost City of Z, and suddenly the rumor was shaky again. Now Cumberbatch is speaking about where any talks with Lucasfilm stand, and he seems to be choosing his words very carefully.
While doing press with MTV for the Wikileaks thriller The Fifth Estate, Cumberbatch speculates on the rumor's origins, at the same time making it clear he'd be more than open to reteaming with his Star Trek Into Darkness director.....
"This is all conjecture after me passing on another film, and that meant me meeting with people saying, 'Ah, he's passed to free himself up for 'Star Wars.'' I didn't know they were filming at the same time. I had no idea, and of course I'd like to be in it. Of course I'd like to do it, but no formal offers are being made at all as far as I'm aware. So really, it is just conjecture."
He would go on to dismiss the talk similarly to The Telegraph....
“Of course I’d love to do Star Wars and work with JJ Abrams again because we had such a good time on Star Trek,” he says. “But nobody has been cast and there are no offers out to anyone apart from the regulars who are returning. So that’s that rumour quashed.” Then he adds with a grin: “We’ll have to wait and see.”
Well, not quite "quashed", as he says. In neither case does he actually deny anything, except to say that an actual offer isn't yet on the table. But it does seem clear that there are negotiations taking place on some level, otherwise a more definitive answer would be called for. Of course, this is the sort of double-speak he no doubt learned while working with the notoriously secretive Abrams on Star Trek.
Filming on Star Wars: Episode VII is set to begin early next year, for release some time in 2015. Expect definitive answers to come soon.