Star Wars: Episode VII Casting Rumors Get Interesting

If you’re the type to pay attention to movie casting rumors, then you’ve probably noticed the same thing I (and many others) have — two names regularly surface just about any time a big movie role is mentioned: Benedict Cumberbatch and Saoirse Ronan. What they have in common (besides two of the most unusual and nigh-unpronounceable names is the biz) is tons and tons of talent.

In the latest case of casting kismet, both Cumberbatch and Ronan are said to be in the running for major roles in JJ AbramsStar Wars: Episode VII. The lead role is rumored to be female, so that’s where Ronan fits in. Actually, there may be two female lead roles, and Ronan supposedly read for both parts this week.  Cumberbatch is believed to be up for a villainous role — and possibly has already been cast. Cumberbatch’s baddie would have a small part in Episode VII, then become the Big Bad for episodes VIII and IX. Of course Cumberbatch’s camp is denying it, as is Abrams’ production company, Bad Robot — but we heard this song-and-dance with the “We swear he’s not playing Khan” B.S. from Star Trek Into Darkness. (The suckage of which was not Cumberbatch’s fault.)

But now there is another, and welcome, name in the casting mix for SWXII: Michael B. Jordan, of Chronicle fame. Jordan’s name has been tossed in the ring for a lot of genre roles lately — he’s supposedly the top pick to play Johnny Storm in the rumored reboot of The Fantastic Four. I would love to see him as the male lead in the new film.

I’m a big fan of Jordan, and have been ever since I interviewed him back when he got his start on the soap opera ALL MY CHILDREN. Cumberbatch made his bones in SHERLOCK, the BBC TV series that transplanted Sherlock Holmes to modern times long before CBS ripped off copied imitated completely originally thought of doing the very same thing. Ronan caught people’s eyes in 2007’s Atonement, and more recently as the bombastic title character in Hanna (2011). Interestingly, Ronan was supposedly the actress Joss Whedon had in mind when writing the role of the Scarlet Witch for the upcoming Avengers sequel. Word is Ronan passed; but who knows for sure?

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