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The Mandalorian: Why Benedict Cumberbatch Is A 'Straight No' On Portraying A Key Star Wars Character

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Ever since Grand Admiral Thrawn was name-dropped in Season 2 of The Mandalorian, viewers have been fan-casting who they think should play the iconic Star Wars villain. For anyone who hoped Benedict Cumberbatch would take a spin in the Star Wars universe as the Chiss tactician, the actor just directly shot down the possibility of playing Thrawn.

Benedict Cumberbatch spoke to Collider during a press day for his upcoming movie The Courier and was asked about Thrawn and whether he'd be interested in portraying the Star Wars character. After a brief description of Thrawn and what he looked like, Cumberbatch ruled himself out of a portrayal of the Star Wars villain.

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.

Benedict Cumberbatch has no interest in playing Grand Admiral Thrawn, at least not for the time being. I can certainly see his reasoning given how much time he has probably already committed to other projects and Marvel, and yeah, he wouldn't be the first actor to abhor the idea of spending hours in makeup in addition to filming each day. I'm not sure many people were assuming he'd take the role of Thrawn, but if Star Wars plans on introducing a live-action version anytime soon, he's out.

Star Wars hasn't revealed if or when a live-action Grand Admiral Thrawn may appear in its universe, but the mention of his name and the recent inclusion of Ahsoka Tano into The Mandalorian had some thinking that day is on the way. Rumors swirled in the past year that Thrawn and Ezra Bridger may enter the Star Wars universe to complete the story they left off in Star Wars Rebels, but again, it's all unfounded speculation.

And while Benedict Cumberbatch would've been a great option to play Grand Admiral Thrawn, there are plenty of other great options still out there. There's no shortage of Star Wars fans in Hollywood either, and with the money being spent to make The Mandalorian and other planned live-action shows, it's not impossible to believe an A-list talent like Cumberbatch could be attached to the role. Unless, of course, there is just something actors of that caliber have against hours in makeup to be painted blue.

The Mandalorian Season 3 is in development, but the next major Star Wars project to look out for will be the Star Wars: The Bad Batch on Tuesday, May 4 on Disney+. Read up a little more on that project here!

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.