Benedict Cumberbatch & Gary Oldman rumored to be ‘confirmed’ for Star Wars VII

cumby esquire

Benedict Cumberbatch covers the February issue of Esquire Malaysia. It’s a cute photo, raised pinkie and all, and I’m pretty sure this is a reprint from a photoshoot Benedict did with People Magazine months ago. Remember the top hat and tails he wore for People? There was even a video of it:

Yeah. It’s from the same photoshoot! But it’s still enjoyable. I wish Cumby would do more magazine stuff – he’s such a great (and often bitchy) print interview and I feel like his publicist is probably on the verge of a nervous breakdown every time Benedict sits down with a reporter. Anyway, since my Cumberbitch ears heard “Cumberbatch… Esquire,” I included some of the older shots from Cumby’s American Esquire shoot several months ago too. Sex Gloves! You are welcome.

Meanwhile, there are lots of stories about Benedict definitely (!!) being cast in Star Wars now. I should note: these are still rumors, even if all of the fan-boys are about to piddle on the carpet from excitement. We have no confirmations of anything, not even a second confirmation in a trade paper. This is all fan-boy rumor-mongering on blogs. So, with that caveat in place, let’s rumor-monger:

According to 3D blog Market Saw, a ‘top source’ has given them a quick update on ‘Episode VII’ casting news… and apparently, a brief hint at the overall plot.

“Ian McDiarmid, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Warwick Davies, Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman [have been cast],” he said. “I believe Cumberbatch and Oldman were pursued for the same role, but I don’t know how that will work out with the script changes, but I’m told they are both involved.”

Now, none of these rumours give us anything new… except to apparently ‘confirm’ that these actors have signed on. But Cumberbatch and Oldman for the same role? I’m really not sure I can see it. I mean, granted they’re both British actors, but would they really both be up for the same part?

And then there’s the plot…

“Ultimately it’s about twins,” he explained. “Which will take a path towards darkness and which will follow in their father’s footsteps, or at least that is what it used to be, that may come later as I think changes are being undertaken to bring the original cast into the forefront of the story leading to ramifications that lead up to the next generation of Skywalkers.”

Essentially, what he’s saying is that it’s going to be about the next generation of Skywalkers and one of them will fall to the Dark Side. Not exactly mind-blowing, considering that we’ve already heard plenty of rumours and speculation that the Solo twins – Jaina and Jacen in the ‘Star Wars’ novels – could be the main thrust of the ‘Episode VII’ story.

But apparently, there’s already been some issues when it comes to that pesky plot.

“Many Star Wars pre-production issues,” he said. “An ‘inadequate’ central story which nobody would stamp off on, a problematic initial release date and an ‘indecisive’ director (J.J. Abrams) with the hardest gig in the industry. It’s not going to be a cakewalk, but it will be a product shipping with the majority of its original parts.”

Considering the recent ‘Episode VII’ delay – pushing the release back to Christmas 2015 – it just seems like another educated guess. We already know the script had been handed over to Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams… but the extent of these ‘issues’ remains a mystery.

[From Yahoo Movies UK]

Benedict AND Gary Oldman? That would be something. Gary and Benedict are friends, you know. And Gary calls him “Cumby” affectionately too. If Cumby does do Star Wars – which I’m actually not even wishing on him – but if he does do it, I want him to play a badass character, a Sith or some kind of hardcore supreme Jedi. I don’t want Cumby mucking around with child actors/twins or have him cast as some small, barely influential character. Sith Cumberbatch has a nice ring to it. Darth Cumby. I’m telling you, if he’s going to do it, he should be a villain.

(PS… Do you think Tommy Hiddleston is crying fan-boy tears at this news?)

Photos courtesy of Esquire.

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78 Responses to “Benedict Cumberbatch & Gary Oldman rumored to be ‘confirmed’ for Star Wars VII”

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  1. blue marie says:

    Good for them I guess, but I’m not real happy that they’re making a 7th film.

    • Tx says:

      I’m with you. Hard to get excited about these movies when the last ones were so awful.

    • Hiddles forever says:

      Same here. Happy for him if it’s true but I was not missing a seventh film……..

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Pretty smart move, because I actually might go see it if Cumby is in it, where I wouldn’t dream of it otherwise.

    • Lindy79 says:

      If he is, I hope he gets to work with Oldman… and Ford possibly. I completely agree, I don’t want him as a sidekick or some sort of bit player. Hopefully since his performance as Khan (I’m not talking about the casting issues) seemed to be one of the few well received bits of ST2 so JJ will not shove him into the background.
      I just worry this film will end up being a hot mess.

      • LadySlippers says:

        I think the film already sounds like a hot mess…

      • lunchcoma says:

        Agreed, LadySlippers. And if it ends up being released as a hot mess, I think the backlash could be huge. Star Trek fans have gotten used to a good movie followed by a bad movie. Star Wars fans still remember three almost perfect movies in a row, and I think they’re inclined to judge everything else very harshly.

  2. Celia says:

    How many franchises do those two need to be in? Can we have some new and/or unexpected faces, please.

    • mom2two says:

      Agreed. I think both men are good actors but some of these desperately need new faces. I love Gary Oldman but if this rumor turns out to be false and neither one of them are in the movie, I would not be sad.
      There’s been SO many SW casting rumors, I am not inclined to believe anything about casting until an official announcement comes out.

    • M.A.F. says:

      That was my first thought.

    • Nerd Alert says:


      Shouldn’t be allowed to be in Star Trek AND Star Wars. The universe might explode.

      On a serious note, I would love an influx of fresh talent in HWood.

  3. Crank says:

    I was hoping they wouldn’t have big name guys for Star Wars…I don’t know why, but I’m scared it’ll turn into a fan-craze movie instead of a good movie. Hard to explain. Example: when I saw Thor 2 (which was kind of bleh and in no ways compared to Star Wars btw) the audience was oohing and ahhhing and gushing when Loki came on, but it wasn’t because of Loki, it’s because it was hiddleston (girls behind me were like ‘it’s tommmmmm’! *orgasm sounds*). I don’t want this to be some Cumberbatch fan-obsessed movie. I want it to be a Star Wars film, even if it’s not-so-great like the prequels (which I think get way more hate than they deserve btw).

    • T.fanty says:

      They aren’t. I know someone whose boyfriend is up for the lead, and he’s not really done anything. I think Cumby also just denied this rumor directly.

    • Jessica says:

      I agree with you. I’d rather they didn’t do stunt casting. This movie is already going to make a billion dollars no matter what, they don’t need to have a ton of Cumby fan girls for it to be successful.

      • T.fanty says:

        I think that the Fifth Estate proved that fangirls can’t make a movie a hit.

      • Crank says:

        T.FANTY- ah but Star Wars is known for its geekery, like Sherlock….Cumberbatch would increase this so-called ‘geekery’ (many people think they’re geeks just because they saw one episode of Sherlock and thought cumby was hot…whole ‘nother conversation though). Fifth Estate was an awful movie with a subject that has no following. Anyway, glad to hear that this is probably a rumor.

  4. Jessica says:

    The storyline rumor sounds old. When Michael Ardent was working on the script, the next generation/twins plot was being thrown around. But the latest rumor was that JJ and Kasdan changed it to focus on Luke, Han and Leia rather than the next generation, at least for ep VII. But the twins bit may still be involved. But everything is just a rumor at this point. I guess we’ll see.

    • Jessica says:

      Hm, not loading the change comment feature. Anyway, that should say Michael Arndt.

    • MollyB says:

      Love Star Wars and love the original cast but I do not really want to see elderly Luke, Han and Leia shuffling around the screen. If they wanted a Han/Luke/Leia story, I wish they would have just recast (a la Star Trek) and filed Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy like all the fan boys and girls wanted.

      • Jessica says:

        I don’t want to see then as elderly characters either. Han is not the heartthrob he used to be, as far as physical ability to run around goes. And Luke and Leia look worse for wear. Not to be mean, but they don’t look great, and the diet and exercise regimen the studio had them on clearly isn’t working.

        Having said that, if they had recast the characters, a la Star Trek, everyone would be pissed. There would have been outcries from fans and probably boycotts. JJ would have taken SO much flak for that. There is no way they would have done that.

      • Nerd Alert says:

        That’s how the stories go, though. They have the kids, and the kids are the foundation for the next story. To make up completely new characters would piss off a lot of nerds. I think they should minimize the older characters, though, and focus on the kids.

        That said, I’m cautiously optimistic about these. Surely nobody could do worse than Hayden Christiansen and that little kid that played Anakin in I-III. Worst child actor ever, that kid. Despite the sun/lens spots via JJ Abrams, and the Disney of it all, I think it will be better than I-III.

      • Trashaddict says:

        This+++. That casting line-up did not create pretty pictures in my head. “Star Wars episode VII-the nursing home”??!!

  5. Granger says:

    Sigh. If he’s going to do it, I really hope he plays a more interesting character than the one Samuel L. Jackson was saddled with in the last trilogy. I agree with Kaiser — he needs to play the villain!

  6. 'p'enny says:

    Nice pictures of Benny.

    Okay, I am not sure I am happy about him being in Star Wars, [said this before] rather he do Sherlock. [selfish cow, I am] But can’t blame him. Franchises mean bigger money in the long run and his best buddies have big recurring franchise roles, Hiddles, Hardy, McAvoy. and Fassbender. [not that really is an influencing decision, I'm trolling there :-p ]

    why would Hiddles be crying? he is neck-deep with Marvel’s Loki he doesn’t need another bloody franchise taking up his time. Hiddles needs to be in other films [good films]. In fact with Benny in Star Wars and tied to Disney for three films, Tom may get a shot at some of the film stuff that would go to Benny. [yes, I know hiddles is star wars fan]

    anyway, I just hope it’s an interesting role, not a repeat Master and Apprentice type role storyline?

    • lunchcoma says:

      I bet Hiddles wants it. He hasn’t been cast in a big non-Marvel movie in quite awhile, and these are roles that lots of actors seem to find interesting. That being said, I think it’s better that he’s not involved in this mess, and I hope that Cumby stays away too.

      • 'p'enny says:

        I don’t think Hiddles would say no, either, LOL, but Marvel would on his behalf. LOL! :-) I am hoping Thor 3 will arrive 2016 as well. Hiddles was right in what he said, people wont be able to get passed ‘Loki with a lightsabre’ loki is too magnetic, a big marvel star, at the moment anyway. Two years time, who knows.
        Yet, Benny-Khan in Star Trek to Benny-Jedi/sith in Star Wars I think is okay move. I just don’t think Khan is that big a character, and not likely to return in the very next Star Trek film. [shoot-me down trekkies]

      • lunchcoma says:

        I may count as a Trekkie, and I have no wish to shoot you down! Khan is a big character and he was sadly misused in the last movie. However, newer fans don’t know that and old school ones HATED what Abrams did with him. I’d be seriously surprised if they tried to do some voodoo and bring the character back for another movie. Better to sweep the mistake under the rug and go in a fresh direction.

      • LadySlippers says:

        @’p'enny: I grew up a daughter of a die hard trekker and I still wouldn’t shoot you! Khan is an iconic character and JJ messed that up big time.

        @lunchcoma: Don’t shoot me but I think I could bring back Khan and do justice to that f’ed up story. There *were* some good things JJ did, unfortunately his mess-ups out number the good stuff. (If I liked ST more I’d do the research — I’d have my work cut out writing a story/script but the audience I’d write for is my mother. She’s a huge critic and if I could make her smile with a fantastic ST movie — it might be worth it. But there IS a salvageable story left).

  7. M.A.F. says:

    1. No, I don’t think Hiddleston is crying. He has Loki, he doesn’t need another franchise.
    2. They need to change the release date. The third Hobbit film was pushed back to December from a July 2014 release because they realized the Hobbit is not a summer film. Star Wars need to be pushed to May 2016, it’s not a holiday film.
    3. J.J Abrams needs to stop with the secret keeping. Release the damn cast line up and the plot of the movie already. It does him absolutely no good (i.e. Star Trek/Khan) It is his thing I know but M. Night Shyamalan had a thing too (the trick endings) and look where he ended up.

    • Jessica says:

      They will release the cast when they have it. I don’t think they’re done casting. But why do they have to release the entire plot? If you know the entire plot, what’s the point of seeing the film? JJ has a point when he says he doesn’t like to reveal the entire plot beforehand.

      • M.A.F. says:

        Plot was the wrong word. But at least release the base of the movie. Reading some of the posts above , too, don’t want to see older Luke, et al. They probably have the base of the casting so they can release some of it.

    • 'p'enny says:

      May 2016 is a gone slot now, Batman-Superman and an unannounced Marvel film have that month sown up.

      Plus, Disney won’t want two of it’s big films hitting at the same time.

      December 2016 is good, Hunger games and hobbit not there, there will be room for another.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        Batman-Superman has been moved out of its original May 2016 date. Marvel has now slotted a film to go into the date Batman-Superman vacated and it will probably be Thor3.

      • 'p'enny says:

        oh i’m confused, i need a PA to sort out my film watching – these dates need sorting now.

  8. Alina says:

    ohhh no. I don´t want the new Star Wars movies overloaded with franchise actors with lots of fangirls. It means it´s just about the money and you can bin the story :-(
    They should take fresh faces, that worked for the original trilogy!

  9. Maureen says:

    This news falls with a thud for me. I just don’t care a single whit about Star Wars. I guess I’ll have to just hold out for Turing.

  10. Mia4S says:

    Sorry, not even Cumby and Oldman can get me excited for new Star Wars…and that’s saying something! The first trilogy was so so special. Everything else (what prequels?) has come across as a cynical cash grab.

  11. Abby says:

    I would watch this one if I know Cumby has sufficient screen time. Rest also depends on the trailer, I am willing to give JJ a chance and not act like a cynic.

  12. Kelly says:

    I am so SICK of them making money off old ideas, instead of getting down to some actual work and properly creating something brilliant, NEW.
    I am also incredibly sick of Star Wars, the only good thing about that franchise was Harrison Ford and his chemistry with Carrie Fisher.
    That said, this is great news for Benny and his PR game. Not sure that makes me happy though, I want him to go back to proper creative work, not Hollywood franchises.
    Although this made me LOL really really really loud, “PS… Do you think Tommy Hiddleston is crying fan-boy tears at this news?” :D

  13. GeeMoney says:

    I’m going to go see this movie regardless of who is in it, because it’s frickin’ Star Wars. Cumby playing a villain or a hero (or whatever) would just be icing on the cake, as far as I’m concerned.

    With that said… here’s hoping it doesn’t suck.

  14. Ruth Dunbar says:

    I’m sure to be in the minority here, but I’ll just own it. I love this idea. God, I’d roll around in this, get in a tub and bathe in this idea. Gary, Benny C AND Carrie Fisher? In the same movie? With lightsabers and Old Han? Forget it. I’d be first in line. Doesn’t even have to be good. All I’d need is a theater that serves booze.

  15. yennefer says:

    Last time I heard Zac Efron was cast as a Skywalker. I don’t even know which one, I just got this mental image of Luke Skywalker being peed on by Nicole Kidman while falling down on Death Star.

    Anyway, that was months ago. This is not the first nor last time we’re hearing cast rumors apparently spread by PR people.

  16. Shiv says:

    I adore Cumby but I just cant get with the idea of him being in Star Wars. The last three films were a hot mess and the real Star Wars fans will have a field day if this goes wrong….

    I also cant get with the idea of Cumby being this absolutely huge Hollywood star. He’s fast becoming one, in LA all the time and is now presenting at the Oscars.

    I want curly Cumby on his motor bike spewing verbal diarrhoea while doing interviews.

  17. Janeite says:

    I would have liked to have contributed something substantive to this, but I lost all capacity for rational thought when I saw those photos from the American Esquire shoot.

    • Abby says:

      this is the best comment on this post girl

    • Maggie says:

      Ha Janeite! I lost it after watching the video and then some of the other videos you can watch when the first one ends. There are some lovely Benedict clips on there.

      As to Star Wars, I am a bit meh about it but just wish they wold stop with the rumours, announce the damn cast and be done with it.

    • pru says:

      Isn’t that the truth? Mr. Cumberbatch in a suit is sooo distracting!

      • Maggie says:

        Benedict could have been a model. That last photo, wearing that longish coat with his hands behind his back, is so elegant and model-like.

        I think photographers must love him as he has such an interesting face, so different and expressive depending on the angle and he can wear clothes so well.

        I am glad he chose acting though.

      • pru says:

        Yes, he is so emotive. It’s that acting talent coming through the camera lens. He can be boyish and ethereal one minute and deeply masculine the next. It’s why he takes such a great photograph, I think. So talented, so versatile (& hot!).

  18. Abby says:

    Btw I heard Hamlet has been pushed to 2015 (not confirmed yet) and Blood mountain postponed or won’t happen as the director needs prep time.

    I am guessing Cumby has something BIG up his sleeve (apart from star wars) which is why his schedule is a mess this year.

    I am hoping he is cast to play Morpheus/Dream instead of JGL. *fingers crossed

    • 'p'enny says:

      Morpheus? That is Hiddles role… back off Abby ;-)

      • Abby says:

        lol who said that??? Gaiman said both Tom and BC’s name. People have been fan casting Cumby for that role since Sherlock came.

        Plus personally speaking Cumby’s physicality matches Morpheus more than Tommy’s. I would love it if he gets that role but so far it’s with JGL.

      • 'p'enny says:

        I said ;-)

        Actually never read the comic, to be honest. ooops. Just the drawings and the synopsis.

      • lunchcoma says:

        Tom would make a great Morpheus, but I wonder if there’d be contractual problems. Sandman is a DC property. I wouldn’t mind seeing Benedict in the role, either. JGL doesn’t match my picture of the character, but I’m also going to give him a shot – I try to be open-minded about casting as my assumptions have been proven wrong many times before, and JGL is a talented actor who’s passionate about the material.

      • jammypants says:

        the comic is soooooooo good

        In some panels, Morpheus looks like a carbon copy of Cumbers. In others, he looks just like Hiddles. I can see why both got mentioned.

  19. lunchcoma says:

    I hope he stays away, for his sake. This movie sounds like it’s a potential disaster, and I don’t think Star Wars fans have anywhere near the tolerance level for bad movies that Star Trek fans do. Were Episodes I-III good for anyone’s career besides Natalie Portman’s?

  20. MissMary says:

    I am a huge Star Wars geek, as is my partner, and we’re legit dreading this. I do love me some Benny C but this movie has hot mess written all over it. Hot mess and lens flare.

  21. Katie says:

    I honestly think Abrams can’t do worse than the prequels. Can’t see what could be possibly be worse than the Phantom Menace.

    The SW cast is going to be huge, so it’s certainly not surprising or to have a few experienced actors in there among the new talent if this is true. It worked in the old movies, with Alec Guinness, Peter Cushing and a few others rounding out the cast of largely unknown actors. An entire cast of unknowns is a hedgy bet in the movie franchise like this, tbh.

    • Miss Melissa says:

      I’m going with Attack of the Clones being worse than Phantom Menace.

      Agreed, JJ cannot do worse than the prequels.

      • Anon33 says:


        Attack of the Clones was absolutely terrible. Even long haired Ewan McGregor couldn’t save that steaming pile.

      • Katie says:

        @ Miss Melissa and Anon3

        I stand corrected, Attack of the Clones was definitely worse!

        I’m just surprised people are worried about Abrams messing it up as we’ve already climbed that mountain.

  22. allons-y alonso says:

    Leave Star Wars alone! It’s a perfect trilogy. There were only 3 movies. The originals. Period. So, please: DON’T DO IT CUMBERBATCH!!!!!!! AND MAKE SURE OLDMAN DOESN’T EITHER!!!!!!

  23. the other Kate says:

    I have never seen any of the SW episodes… I mean: I tried, but they were soooooo boring to me. I tried, when I was about 10, then after few years, and no. And now it seems I will watch new episode just because Gary. Because with him nothing is boring.

    • Mandy says:

      Glad I’m not the only one who finds even the original SW’s episodes a total snooze-fest! Anytime I have tried to watch them I fall asleep within fifteen minutes!

  24. Raven says:

    Boring. I get that this is exciting for Benedict, but I secretly wish he’d do more small films and indies. Surely that’d give him an opportunity to branch out and play very different and challenging roles, which I thought is what he wanted.

  25. pru says:

    I hate the idea of this reboot SO MUCH I can’t get excited in seeing either Cumby or Oldman in these movies. I don’t think Abrams is up to the challenge of this if Star Trek is any indication (both movies were just popcorn fluffy IMO). I get that this is a childhood dream for an actor, but just NO.

    *wistfully wishes to be proven wrong*

    Cumby with a long dark cape billowing around him, dark and mysterious, though is something I’d love to see, just in some other sci-fi/superhero venue.

  26. Lilacflowers says:

    The only confirmed cast member is Adam Driver, who will play a villain.

  27. lunchcoma says:

    Adam Driver was just announced in the role as the movie’s villain. I suppose there might still be parts for Cumberbatch and Oldman, but I think this news makes it less likely.

    • pru says:

      Yes, why announce Driver, but not Oldman or Cumberbatch? Makes me doubt these rumors too.
      But then, what could his ‘secret project’ be??

      • Katie says:

        @ Pru

        Driver is heavily rumored but not officially announced yet. There’s confusion all around–sounds like there’s 2 villains and Driver may be the smaller one.

        I wouldn’t think BC or GO would have giant parts. With a largely unknown cast for leads, proven talent should go into meaty side roles instead.

        It does seem like BC’s involved in something he can’t talk about other than SW though.

  28. Jane Doe says:

    I was at that Sherlock convention in Birmingham a few weeks ago (don’t you dare judge me); he gave a talk at the end and denied he was doing Star Wars. He spoke about doing Hamlet, Lost City Of Z and Blood Mountain this year, and added that he’s also doing “Something I can’t talk about yet”. When someone in the front row yelled, “Star Wars,” he laughed and said “It’s not Star Wars”.

    The ‘thing’ is assumed to be a Sherlock Christmas special. The show’s production designer was telling attendees at the convention that it was happening, and someone on Tumblr recently conducted an interview with another crew member – the art director, I think? – who told her it was happening. She’s since deleted the interview and related posts.

    Honestly, I think it’s a bit old hat for him to do it now – a role in a JJ Abrams-directed, nerd-baiting, sci-fi franchise – so even though I adore him and it would probably be good for his publicity, I wouldn’t see this as a challenge or as anything exciting for him. If he DOES do it, I hope they give him the Han Solo-esque, charismatic antihero. I don’t think he’s done enough so far to convince mainstream America that he’s EXTREMELY charismatic. Pre-Star Trek release, the cast and crew were bigging him up like he was Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront or some shit, but honestly, after watching that film a few times and really thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that he was, well, alright. He was done a massive disservice by the script and marketing, I suppose.

    • blended says:

      blood mountain seems to be off the table and it isn’t listed on his imdb anymore.

      • Jane Doe says:

        Yeah, at the Cabin Pressure recording he told the lady who runs Cumberbatchweb that it isn’t happening anymore. Funding problems, maybe. I’m kind of relieved, the premise sounded a bit too Liam Neeson.