It's been rumored for a long time that Benedict Cumberbatch would be playing a villain in J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII. There was a time when the actor was coy about it, but when he was asked about it in a recent interview with The Iris, he said that it's not going to happen.
"I would've liked a part in JJ's new Star Wars but it won't happen sadly."
At one point there was almost no doubt that the actor would be in the movie. Maybe he was going to be in the movie but things changed. I guess there's still a chance that he's just pulling our leg, but who knows at this point. The role would have been a Sith villain, which would supposedly be a major role that will continue throughout the whole new trilogy.
The casting for the movie is almost complete, and it has been rumored that most of the new cast are going to be lesser known actors, which I think is a good way to go with a movie like this. It would have been awesome to see Cumberbatch in a Star Wars movie, though.
As of right now it's believed that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, and Harrison Ford will be back to reprise their roles. Then there are names like Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong'o and John Boyega who are believed to be a few of the projects fresh faces. The only character that has been officially confirmed by the studio so far is R2-D2.
Star Wars: Episode VII will be set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, and the script was written by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan.