It seemed too good to be true, didn't it? Lightsaber-loving Benedict Cumberbatch recruited by his Star Trek director JJ Abrams to appear in the new Star Wars movies? But that didn't stop fans of the Sherlock star frantically speculating on the rumour in the absence of any official casting announcement from Disney's reboot of the sci-fi franchise.
However, today it turns out that the news – which first surfaced on American website FilmChronicles.com – is mere conjecture as representatives for the 37-year-old British actor have released a statement denying Cumberbatch's involvement:
"There is no truth to the rumour Benedict has been cast in Star Wars," a spokesperson told the New York Daily News. "I think the rumours are circling because JJ and Benedict have just recently had a wonderful time working together on Star Trek."
The speculation had picked up steam in the last 24 hours thanks to Cumberbatch's known love for the Star Wars franchise and his timely exit from Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak – a move that would have left him available when Abrams and his cast begin shooting in London next year.
But although Cumber-fans will be disappointed with this morning's news, they can console themselves in the knowledge they'll be seeing plenty of their leading man in the coming months, with the return of Sherlock to BBC1 this January and the cinema release of The Fifth Estate and 12 Years a Slave.