Richard E. Grant says he isn’t playing the Star Wars 9 character *everyone* wants him to play

Richard E. Grant as Dr. Zander Rice in Logan

Well, what was he meant to say? Richard E. Grant, recently confirmed to appear in Star Wars Episode 9, is renowned for his roles as nefarious evildoers. His turn in Logan was pretty underappreciated, though it seems to have caught the attention of the higher-ups as Lucasfilm. The internet, putting two and two together, assumed he’d then be playing a fan-favourite villain – but that doesn’t appear to be the case, judging by a new interview.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Grant was confronted with a question about how he’s preparing to play General Admiral Thrawn. His answer was unequivocal: “I’m not playing the Star Wars character you just mentioned.” Well, that’s that then…

…or is it? Grant goes on to say “I’m not allowed to tell you anything. Otherwise I would be fired,” as well as revealing Star Wars 9 has “a complete lockdown on any information whatsoever.” So, of course he would say that. It’s also pretty damning, too, that he already knows Thrawn is a Star Wars character, despite the blue-skinned baddie not being that well-known (if it all) to anyone but die-hard Star Wars fans.

For now, we’ll have to wait and see. An official denial is still never quite official when it comes to the secrets-laden saga from a galaxy far, far away.

That, when coupled with a tweet responding to a mock-up of Grant being cast as Thrawn, a key character working for the Empire in the Star Wars Rebels show who was introduced in a series of Star Wars Extended Universe books in the 1990s, being liked by the actor himself. Maybe Lucasfilm told him to keep schtum after that? Or maybe, just maybe, Grant is channelling his inner-ne’er-do-well and taking us along for a ride? How very Thrawn of him.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.