More news on the rumor that broke yesterday that Benedict Cumberbatch was joining the cast of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars Episode VII. Badass Digest has been able to dig up exactly what he’s in the running for in the next Star Wars installment: the new Sith Lord.
The site contends that this Sith will be a major, major character whose arc would run the entire VII-IX trilogy. It also confirms that this is the reason the actor suddenly dropped out of Guillermo del Toro‘s Crimson Peak.
This has not been confirmed by Disney or Abrams, but Abrams denied Cumberbatch was Khan right up until Star Trek Into Darkness was released so an official announcement of his casting may be forthcoming, but details may be scarce.
If this dovetails with the earlier reports we’ve received on the film’s villain from Latino Review, Cumberbatch would be playing Emperor Palpatine‘s secret apprentice that he was grooming as a contingency plan that the Skywalker crisis went sideways (which-from his point-it really did). Ian McDiarmid would be reprising his role as Palpatine in a Force ghost form, likely serving as a mentor to this apprentice who, 30 years later, most likely has become an extremely powerful Sith.
This would be utterly fantastic. The success of the hidden apprentice plot was going to depend on the villain and the actor. They have one of the best actors out there if they cast Cumberbatch. All of these rumors are extremely exciting and encouraging. Stay tuned, because we’re going to get more and more of these pouring in.
UPDATE 9/4/2013: The New York Daily News is citing Cumberbatch’s publicist as stating he has NOT taken the role but CinemaBlend had a very interesting take on that denial over on their site. I’m a grown man typing about who will be the next Sith Lord at 1:22 a.m. on a work night. It’s fun just to even think about this!