Dr. Strange actor Benedict Cumberbatch made it perfectly clear he has no interest in playing Star Wars character Grand Admiral Thrawn.
While promoting his upcoming film The Courier, Cumberbatch was asked about the character by Collider’s Steve Weintraub.
Cumberbatch responded, “Grand Admiral Thrawn? Does he turn into Peter Cushing, or something? Is that…?”
Weintraub would then inform Cumberbatch that his skin is blue, “No. He’s blue. He’s a very cool character that’s a villain… you’d be under a blue makeup thing. I’m just curious if you’d heard about it.”
After hearing he’d have to be in blue makeup to play the character, Cumberbatch revealed he had no interest in playing the character.
He stated, “That’s a straight no from me, right now. There’s no way I want to be turned blue. I turned the air blue, very recently.”
“No no, seriously, I have precious time with my children and I think sitting in a makeup chair and being painted blue, and the amount of time it would take to do that and then take it off at the end of the day might just… it’s not the right time in my life for that,” he explained.
Rumors have swirled that Disney and Lucasfilm were looking to bring Grand Admiral Thrawn into The Mandalorian.
Scooper Mikey Sutton at Geekosity claimed in May 2020, “I’ve held onto this for months now, and I’m tired of waiting for additional details to put this out. Thrawn will make his live-action debut, I am told, possibly in the next two years.”
Then in September 2020, Sutton claime that a Star Wars Rebels live-action theatrical film was being developed and Thrawn would be the main villain.
He stated , “According to a source, the film will include characters introduced on the Rebels animated show and the Big Bad is going to be Grand Admiral Thrawn.”
There are official hints that a theatrical film might be in the works at Lucasfilm spinning out of The Mandalorian and its connected shows that include Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka, and Rangers of the New Republic.
While announcing these shows, Kathleen Kennedy stated, “Set within the timeline of The Mandalorian, these interconnected shows along with future stories will excite new audiences, embrace our most passionate fans, and will culminate in a climactic story event.”
It’s possible that climactic story event will be this rumored Rebels movies.
But it might not just be a Rebels movie, in another scoop from this January, Sutton claims Lucasfilm is working on possibly adapting Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire.
He explains, “Heir to the Empire won’t be interpreted exactly how it is on the printed page, but it’s shadow will be looming over the show.”
Sutton went on to claim that a “war between Thrawn and the New Republic is gradually being built up.”
Grand Admiral Thrawn was name dropped in the second season of The Mandalorian, specifically in Chapter 13: The Jedi.
In that episode, Ahsoka Tano defeats Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth and asks her, “Where is Grand Admiral Thrawn?”
While Cumberbatch ruled out playing Grand Admiral Thrawn, rumors have pointed to Lars Mikkelsen and even Robert Downey Jr. playing the character.
Small Screen reported in December that Thrawn would be played by Mikkelsen.
They reported, “It’s being reported to us by sources supposedly close to Lucasfilm that Lars Mikkelsen is currently in talks to play a live-action Grand Admiral Thrawn in The Mandalorian and also reportedly other future Star Wars live-action properties.”
“I now can say that multiple sources whom I do trust and have close ties to Lucasfilm have told me Mikkelsen is in talks to play the live-action version of Thrawn,” Small Screen’s Edward Lauder stated.
Mikkelsen previously voiced Thrawn in Star Wars Rebels.
In contrast, scooper WDW Pro at Pirates and Princesses claimed Downey Jr. was in discussions for a long-term contract and speculated that he could play Thrawn.
He wrote, “It would not shock us at this point if RDJ takes a role like Grand Admiral Thrawn or some other major piece.”
What do you make of Cumberbatch’s comments? Who would you want to play Thrawn?