Benedict Cumberbatch Rumored for Potential Vader-Type Role in ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

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cumberbatch-star-warsYes, it’s time for our regular installment of rumors from around the globe concerning Star Wars: Episode VII and this one has Benedict Cumberbatch re-teaming with his Star Trek Into Darkness director, J.J. Abrams, in what Film Chronicles calls a key role, though they don’t have any further information regarding his character.

Of course, this is something we would typically expect when it comes to casting rumors as the idea a director would cherry pick from his/her previous projects to cast their latest film, but on top of that, Cumberbatch’s recemt departure from Guillermo del Toro‘s Crimson Peak is another item giving this rumor a little more weight as the two films do have overlapping production schedules.

Bleeding Cool adds to the rumor saying a big official announcement concerning the film is expected soon with rumors of a big name being attached. How big? Well, along with Cumberbatch, names ranging from up-and-comer Dane DeHaan (Chronicle) and some guy named Leonardo DiCaprio are being thrown around.

The FilmChronicles report adds that “[c]asting calls suggest we may see three or four early twentysomething Solo / Skywalker offspring in the film”, which would mean the 37-year-old Cumberbatch would be up for an entirely different role considering. Speculation has led to him being the son of Harrison Ford‘s Han Solo, but that seems largely based on an interview the actor did with Total Film during Star Trek rounds saying:

“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”

This leads to the headline where I tease you with the “Vader-Type” click bait. This comes largely from an update at Bleeding Cool where the blokes there seem to know a lot more than a lot of other outlets and presume Cumberbatch is being eyed not merely for Episode VII (if he indeed is being eyed at all), but for the entire new trilogy as the latest villain and maybe a Sith lord.

If you ask me, this is one of the major things the prequel trilogy missed out on by killing off Darth Maul in the Phantom Menace and merely using Palpatine as the central villain… BORING! Trade disputes aren’t really all that cool and neither are intergalactic politics when none of us know what the hell is going on. Give us someone we love to hate and a new, three-film villain will suffice, whether it’s played by Cumberbatch or not.

Production is expected to get underway at the beginning of the year so a casting announcement soon would make sense.

Star Wars: Episode VII is set to hit theaters in 2015, though no specific date has yet been announced.