Benedict Cumberbatch Discusses Stars Wars And Julian Assange


Benedict Cumberbatch has it all: a hit show, roles in seemingly hundreds of hotly anticipated dramas and blockbusters, and, of course, a totally awesome name. In a recent profile from The Hollywood Reporter, Cumberbatch talked about all the fun things he gets to do, like playing Julian Assange and totally not appearing in Star Wars: Episode VII.

First, Cumberbatch discussed his complicated feelings about playing Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate:

The thing is this: I have a profound respect for Julian. I also have a profound respect for the need of states to have a currency of secrets in order for Western democracy to exist and for fundamentalism to be defeated. And I don’t think Julian is interested in fundamentalism triumphing.

He also mentioned that Assange himself did not really want Cumberbatch to do the film, and actually begged him to drop out. Cumberbatch doesn’t really divulge why Assange felt like that, though, but I’d be interested to know the story.

The big question, of course, is Star Wars: Episode VII. Rumors began circulating that Cumberbatch dropped out of Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak because he was offered a role in Star Wars and the schedules conflicted. Not true, according to Cumberbatch, who says that his departure from Crimson Peak was entirely an issue between himself and del Toro.

So what about Episode VII? Cumberbatch says he doesn’t know and cannot speculate:

I don’t know. Who knows, who knows? Nothing is known of that. I worked with J.J. [Abrams, who directed Star Trek Into Darkness and now is prepping Episode VII]. Obviously, he knows. Everyone who wants to be part of that film, they know about.

In all honesty, I’m not certain we should hold our breath on this one. Just because Cumberbatch is a hot commodity right now and has worked with J.J. Abrams before does not mean that the latter simply has to cast him in Episode VII; nor, for that matter, do I think we should be hoping for it. The film could begin to look like J.J. Abrams does Star Wars: Into Darkness if he casts too many of his friends. I’m already a little wary about Abrams having command over both major sci-fi franchises. I also would prefer to see Cumberbatch carry on in his serious dramatic parts, rather than going over to the dark side of franchises and tentpole films.

This will not put an end to the speculation, of course, but speculation is what we thrive on right now. In any case, we will be able to see Benedict Cumberbatch in The Fifth Estate, 12 Years A Slave, August: Osage County, and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, all coming out this fall. That should be enough to get your Cumberbatch fix for awhile.