I’m sure many fans would’ve liked to see Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) play our favorite blue-skinned military genius: Grand Admiral Thrawn. However, the actor himself doesn’t seem to care for the role.

Thrawn on the left, and Benedict Cumberbatch on the right. Art by ScreenRant.
Not happening. Art by ScreenRant.

Benedict Cumberbatch was recently in an interview with Collider, where they asked him about the possibility of playing Thrawn. They mentioned how many fans wanted to see Cumberbatch play Thrawn, and asked him if he’d heard about that. Funnily enough, Cumberbatch had no idea who Thrawn was. He had apparently heard about Grand Moff Tarkin though, since he asked if Thrawn would “turn into Peter Cushing, or something”. Collider quickly described the bare bones of Thrawn for him, notably his blue skin and the fact that Cumberbatch would likely be wearing blue makeup for the role.

Benedict Cumberbatch in blue lighting.
Not blue enough, unfortunately.

Upon hearing this however, Benedict Cumberbatch’s immediate response was a firm “No”. He was completely against the idea of having to wear blue makeup when playing Thrawn. He thought it was too much time and effort, and he preferred to spend the time with his two sons. His exact words were:

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.

But Who Will Play Thrawn Now?

Thrawn sitting posed in a big chair, surrounded by Chiss officers.
Still here, no matter who will be playing him.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s refusal to play Thrawn isn’t the end of the character though. After Ahsoka Tano’s reveal that she was looking for Thrawn in The Mandalorian, it’s almost a certainty that we’ll see him onscreen soon. The only question is who will play him now? There’s rumors that voice actor, Lars Mikkelsen, is the one portraying him.

Christopher Eccleston as the 9th Doctor, in blue lighting.
My pick to play Thrawn.

Personally, if I had to make a choice, I’d pick Christopher Eccleston to play Thrawn. He did very well as the 9th Doctor, as Doctor Who fans will attest to. He even has the right height and build for the role. With a slight toning down of his 9th Doctor persona, he could make a great Thrawn. But, this is just my opinion. You can take it with as many grains of salt as you like.


Benedict Cumberbatch is absolutely determined not to play Thrawn. Mostly because he doesn’t want to wear the blasted blue makeup. So Disney just has to find someone else to play our favorite blue-skinned Grand Admiral. Who will it be? Well, we’ll just have to wait for Disney to decide on that. In the meantime, you’re free to make your own suggestions.

Source: Collider