We're quickly coming up on the one-year anniversary of the announcement that Disney bought LucasFilm, with the intent to have Star Wars: Episode VII in theaters by 2015. In that year, we've heard nothing but rumors about the cast, with the studio remaining silent for twelve long months.
J.J. Abrams hints that Benedict Cumberbatch may be cast in Star Wars Episode VII
Yesterday brought news that Fruitvale Station star Michael B. Jordan had taken a personal meeting with director J.J. Abrams, though his role wasn't disclosed. Maybe he is testing for Lando Calrissian's son as a potential love interest for Han Solo's daughter? Maybe he is playing a Jedi? Maybe he's just a star pilot. We don't know. David Oyelowo is up for the same role.
But they're not the only actors hurrying into read "directly from the screenplay", if we're to believe Spartacus star Liam McIntyre, who has tested as an unnamed Jedi. Also heading in for auditions are Saoirse Ronan as a possible female villain, Ksenia Solo and Rachel Hurd-Wood as Han Solo's daughter, and Alex Pettyfer, who still might be Luke Skywalker's offspring. None of this has been confirmed or denied.
The one rumor that keeps floating to the surface only to get knocked down is Benedict Cumberbatch as a Sith Lord. We heard he was in, his Reps and the Studio denied it, saying he was out, and then it was confirmed again. Then, Benedict Cumberbatch himself sort of, but not really, denied it.
"This is the simple truth. J.J. (Abrams) and I have worked together before. I would love to work with him again. No offer has been made. "I don't know. Who knows, who knows? Nothing is known of that. I worked with J.J. Obviously, he knows. Everyone who wants to be part of that film, they know about."
Now, speaking with the Los Angeles Times, J.J. Abrams himself has commented on the Benedict Cumberbatch casting rumor. And guess what? He doesn't deny it. Though, he doesn't confirm it either. Here is a Tweet from LA Times staff writer Yvonne Villarreal.
"We're working our asses off trying to get this thing in place w/casting. [Benedict Cumberbatch?] I love that guy."
JJ Abrams on #StarWars: "We're working our asses off trying to get things in place w/ casting." Benedict Cumberbatch? "I love that guy."— Yvonne Villarreal (@villarrealy) September 20, 2013
For now, we'll have to take that for what it is. Fans have come down hard on J.J. Abrams' mystery box way off keeping things away from audiences until they are in their seats, starring at the screen. Latino Review recently made these comments in regards to the casting.
Will Benedict Cumberbatch be a Sith Lord in Star Wars: Episode VII?
"DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE ABOUT Benedict Cumberbatch NOT BEING IN Star Wars. HE IS IN THE MOVIE! In fact, he will be in all three Star Wars films! It's all a smoke screen. Folks, remember when Cumberbatch denied being Khan for over a year? Same situation here. At least give us the benefit of the doubt hence why we are bringing this up. Point is, he lied before and he can lie again. Google it. One more time because it is worth repeating, Benedict Cumberbatch will be in the upcoming Star Wars movies. I don't care if he denies it till opening day. We were right before about him playing Khan, and we will be right again on this one. Technically, his part in Star Wars: Episode VII is very small but the role is much bigger in Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX."
At this point, there is surely no surprise left in the announcement when and if it is made. It won't carry the same weight as Ben Affleck being cast as Batman. By now, we all know that Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels are returning to reprise their iconic roles. Will most of us even notice when Disney and Lucasfilm confirm it? Seems like old news, now. The only thing that could cause a seismic quake is if it were announced that none of them would be in the movie.