Star Wars: Episode VII is going to be the biggest movie coming of 2015. The seventh movie in the Star Wars saga will continue the journey of the Skywalker family, and stage the ultimate showdown between the good Jedi Knights and the evil Sith Lords. The new movie is expected to go into production at Pinewood Studios in London, England in April or May. Casting is currently in progress, and though Disney and Lucasfilm are being as closed-lipped as ever, reports say the field is narrowing down.
According to Variety, director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy have reduced the list of actors up for the unnamed lead role down to five. The names on the shortlist are Jesse Plemons, John Boyega, Ed Speleers, Matthew James Thomas, and Ray Fisher, all of whom are in their early to mid-20s.
Breaking Bad star Plemons has been rumored to be in heavy consideration for a role, possibly Luke’s son Ben Skywalker, for some time now. Boyega received tons of acclaim and notice for his part in the sci-fi adventure Attack the Block in 2011. Speleers plays Jimmy Kent in PBS’ Downton Abbey, which couldn’t be farther from Star Wars, while James Thomas is primarily a theater actor, currently appearing as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Julie Taymor’s recently closed Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway. Fisher also spends a lot of time on stage and has been seen playing Muhammad Ali in the play Fetch Clay, Make Man in New York City. All of these actors are also British, except Plemons and Fisher, both American.
The role up-for-grabs is unspecified, but believed to be a Jedi apprentice. Screenwriter Michael Arndt’s early drafts focused on Han Solo and Princess Leia’s children, though it is believed that Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan’s final scrip put the spotlight back on Luke, Han, and Leia, with their offspring in supporting roles.
Recently, Girls star Adam Driver was rumored to be playing Episode VII’s main villain, but nothing as been made official. It’s also been reported that Fisher might be shooting the new Star Wars for up to six months. This reveal led people to speculate that Princess Leia is around for much more than a quick cameo.
Is it me or should we know who is in this movie by now? The project was announced back in October 2012 and Abrams was hired to direct in January 2013, well over a year ago. What is going on with Disney and Lucasfilm that they can’t decide what this movie should be about and who should be in it? Even Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel has its story and cast set up at Warner Bros and DC Comics, and Batman vs. Superman comes out six months after Star Wars: Episode VII. When Batman vs. Superman looks like it has its shit more together than the new Star Wars there’s a big problem.
Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters everywhere on December 18, 2015.