Star Wars: Benedict Cumberbatch Has No Interest in Playing Thrawn

Star Wars fans have been hoping to see Grand Admiral Thrawn come to the world of live-action for years, and while many have hoped to see Doctor Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch's take on the villain, the actor isn't at all interested in the process of bringing the blue-skinned character to life. Regardless of how compelling the character might be, Cumberbatch detailed that he's not interested in undergoing whatever makeup processes might be required to make the character become a reality. While Cumberbatch might not be interested, the character's live-action debut seems imminent following Ahsoka's mention of him in Season 2 of The Mandalorian.

When Collider asked Cumberbatch if he's heard of fan interest about the character, the actor was unaware of who he was, questioning, "Grand Admiral Thrawn? Does he turn into [Grand Moff Tarkin actor] Peter Cushing, or something?"

After being informed that he's a blue-skinned villain, Cumberbatch confirmed, "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."

Thrawn first debuted in a trilogy of Star Wars novels back in the '90s, but following Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm, these Star Wars Expanded Universe novels were relegated to the "Legends" corner of the franchise, separating them from official canon. Luckily, the animated series Star Wars Rebels saw the return of the character, where he was voiced by Lars Mikkelsen, solidifying him into the lexicon of the series and delivering a number of new stories for the figure. Throughout much of Rebels, Thrawn served as the primary antagonist, with the series finale teasing his possible death.

Fan interest in the character was so strong that some even thought that the character could appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, especially due to Richard E. Grant signing on to play a mysterious character. Ultimately, Thrawn had no mention in the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga, with Grant playing an entirely unique character.

With The Mandalorian taking place years after the events of Rebels and Ahsoka investigating his whereabouts, it sounds like he could play an integral part of the new Star Wars: Ahsoka series.

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Stay tuned for details on the possible future of Thrawn.

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