Star Wars fans choose Benedict Cumberbatch to play villainous Thrawn
Benedict Cumberbatch has emerged as Star Wars hardcore fan's favorite for a role that is still to be enacted by anyone in a full-length feature title by Disney, be it a film or series. Fans chose Cumberbatch to play Grand Admiral Thrawn, an alien supposed to become the nemesis in upcoming Star Wars titles such as The Mandalorian and other live-action shows.
Cumberbatch defeated Michael Fassbender to grab the top spot
The poll by Fandom had various Hollywood heavyweights pitched in by fans to play Thrawn. Lars Mikkelsen, who voices the character in the animated series Star Wars Rebels and has co-starred with Cumberbatch in Sherlock, stood third in the poll. Then came X-Men: First Class star Michael Fassbender, who grabbed the second position in the poll. But it was Cumberbatch, who got maximum votes.
Poll results by Fandom, calling Cumberbatch the winner
Thrawn was introduced in 1991 when his story hit book-shelves
Interestingly, Mikkelsen's voice is the closest fans have gotten to seeing Thrawn on-screen. Grand Admiral Thrawn was featured prominently for the first time with Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy in 1991. Thrawn was killed at the end of Zahn's content but there is a lot to be explored about the character whose popularity has prompted Disney to acknowledge The Expanded Universe as non-canon.
Why is celluloid adaptation of Thrawn being talked of now?
Thrawn is a strategic genius and has been the only alien to achieve a top rank in the Empire. He is also piped to become the villain for three Star Wars shows. The hype is all the more logical after Ahsoka Tano is shown searching for Thrawn in the galaxy. This increases the chances of an actor of considerable repute to play Thrawn soon.
Fandom poll is important but doesn't decide final casting
Fan preferences matter a lot to studios in terms of such casting decisions, although this doesn't mean that Cumberbatch gets the role just because of popularity. On the work front, the Sherlock star is cast opposite Jodie Foster in The Mauritanian, where Cumberbatch's Southern accent is one of the highlights. The film is based on the book Guantanamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi.