It is all but confirmed that we are, at some point, getting a live-action version of Grand Admiral Thrawn in the Star Wars galaxy. Most likely on the small screen, thanks to an ever-important name-drop that we got in The Mandalorian season 2. For years, fans have pegged Benedict Cumberbatch as the perfect actor to bring the beloved villain to life. Now, Cumberbatch has weighed in as to whether or not that would be something he’s interested in doing.
Benedict Cumberbatch is currently promoting his latest movie The Courier. During a recent interview, he was asked about possibly playing the Star Wars character, provided the chance. Cumberbatch, admittedly, didn’t know who Thrawn was saying, “Grand Admiral Thrawn? Does he turn into Peter Cushing, or something? Is that…?” Once it was explained that he is a blue-skinned villain, Cumberbatch said the following.
“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.”
So there we have it. Any bit of tongue-in-cheek aside, Benedict Cumberbatch simply has no interest in playing Thrawn. At least not right now. Cumberbatch is a busy man. He is still playing Stephen Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness filming right now. He also has other movies on the way including The Power of the Dog and The Electrical Life of Louis Wain. And Star Wars would be a huge commitment.
Whoever it ends up being, someone is going to be cast to play Thrawn, perhaps sooner rather than later. Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka Tano said the character’s name in a key episode of The Mandalorian, signaling that Thrawn is still out there following the events of the Rebels series finale. Given that several spin-offs taking place in the same timeline as The Mandalorian, such as Ahsoka and The Book of Boba fett, are on the way, it’s only a matter of time before the Grand Admiral shows up. Whether that’s in The Mandalorian season 3 or somewhere else remains to be seen.
Grand Admiral Thrawn was created by author Timothy Zahn in the Heir to the Empire trilogy of novels that were originally released in the 90s. The animated series Rebels brought the brilliant tactician, a member of the alien race known as the Chiss, into the current canon. He is one of the most popular characters in all of Star Wars who has yet to appear in live-action. That is poised to change. Unfortunately for those who had this bit of fan casting set aside in their mind, Disney and Lucasfilm will have to look elsewhere. This news comes to us via Collider.