Actor Benedict Cumberbatch and director J.J. Abrams may team up once again for another space adventure, this time set in George Lucas’ “Star Wars” universe. Both had worked together on Paramount’s “Star Trek Into Darkness” with Cumberbatch playing the terrorist villain Khan. Since Abrams has signed on to direct “Star Wars: Episode VII,” it wouldn’t be uncommon for a director to utilize talent that he is familiar with.
The real question is: How will Cumberbatch figure into the Star Wars universe? Could he play Han Solo or Luke Skywalker’s son? Or, could he play a villain or Jedi hero? Conjecture still swirls at this time, but a big casting announcement is on the horizon and Cumberbatch’s attachment to the film would definitely be an excellent vanguard to lead the casting charge.
Cumberbatch has expressed interest in the Star Wars project and is a huge fan of the original films. This is what he had to say.
“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.”
With Cumberbatch dropping out of director Guillermo del Toro’s horror movie “Crimson Peak,” without reason, word has it that “Star Wars: Episode VII” will be filming at the same time “Crimson Peak” is in production. Could this be a coincidence?
Cumberbatch is building an impressive resumé for himself. He is the star of the BBC’s hit show “Sherlock.” He recently worked on filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse,” and he has won critical acclaim on the London stage as Frankenstein and his monster (rotating the roles nightly with Johnny Lee Miller.) In addition, he will be heard as the voice of Smaug in director Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” which will arrive in theaters this Christmas. He is also rumored to be playing ‘The Necromancer’ in the Hobbit trilogy as well.
“Star Wars: Episode VII” will open in theaters sometime in 2015. The film will star Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels and Ewan McGregor. Michael Arndt wrote the screenplay based on characters created by George Lucas. John Williams will compose the film’s score, while J.J. Abrams directs.