Is Benedict Cumberbatch the Villain in 'Star Wars: Episode VII'?

The secret's out on J.J. Abrams and Benedict Cumberbatch. No, not the Khan conspiracy — the other secret.

At the very least, a juicy new rumor is making the rounds this week about Cumberbatch reteaming with Abrams for Star Wars: Episode VII. ScreenCrush.com was first with the Cumberbatch rumor, with BadassDigest.com chiming in with a few details about the possible role:

"I've heard the role he's up for is that of a bad guy, almost certainly a Sith. And it's a major role, one that will continue throughout the whole new trilogy."

According to the report, Star Wars is the reason why Cumberbatch dropped out of Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak late last month.

There's absolutely no confirmation on Cumberbatch's role in Star Wars, but it's not the world's biggest surprise, considering the actor's previous collaboration with Abrams, as well as his own fondness for the franchise.

"They were a huge part of my background, and my upbringing," Cumberbatch told Total Film earlier this year about his affection for Star Wars. "I was much more connected to [Star Wars] as a kid, in the way that a lot of kids are because it's immediate storytelling, very simply – a beautifully, outrageously simple narrative in a way – and a wonderful three-act melodrama, opera. And I loved them. I really, really loved those films and I always wanted to be Han Solo."

Star Wars: Episode VII is reportedly eyeing a Christmas 2015 release.

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