On Labor Day, rumors of Benedict Cumberbatch being cast in Star Wars Episode VII divided the Internet in more ways than one. The biggest argument seemed to be over whether the rumor was even true or not. While the trade press has not reported on the rumor with some of their writers even discounting the rumor on twitter, some movie blogs and entertainment websites have been reporting that either a deal has already been signed or is at least in the works.
Now, the New York Daily News is reporting that one of Benedict Cumberbatch's reps has officially denied the rumor. Cumberbatch's spokesperson is quoted as saying, "There is no truth to the rumor Benedict has been cast in Star Wars. I think the rumors are circling because JJ and Benedict have just recently had a wonderful time working together on Star Trek ."
So with a definitive statement from Cumberbatch's rep, will this put an end to the rumor? Probably not, as some very reputable movie sites are insisting there is some truth to the rumor, which should continue to fuel speculation. Also, since J.J. Abrams denied at one point that he would be directing Star Wars Episode VII, denials revolving around his projects are usually met with suspicion online. Until Lucasfilm officially makes some casting announcements about Star Wars Episode VII and Cumberbatch's name is either on or off the list, there will likely continue to be speculation.
In an interesting side note, Billy Dee Williams' manager Derek Maki denied rumors at Dragon Con this weekend that the core original cast members had signed deals to return. If the original cast has not been signed yet and the Cumberbatch rumor is also false, one has to wonder exactly where Lucasfilm is in the casting process.