Tell me you didn’t see this one coming. The other day the hot rumor of the afternoon was that everyone’s favorite dreamboat, Ryan Gosling, was up for a role in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII. Well guess what? Turns out that was a load of hooey. Hooey I say. Are you shocked that yet another spurious Star Wars rumor has be debunked? You know you are.
A recent report from Latino Review noted that Gosling met with producers to discuss possibly playing Luke Skywalker’s son—you can see a little family resemblance, can’t you? Couldn’t deny there’s a little Skywalker in this one. Gosling was also a Mouseketeer, and since Disnwey now owns Lucasfilm, such casting had a certain amount of logic to it. (I personally expected/hoped that they would only cast former Disney kids.) And what red-blooded American of Gosling’s generation wouldn’t want to appear in a Star Wars movie? Isn’t that what most of us have dreamt about for our entire lives, venturing to that galaxy far, far away, and having Skywalker blood flowing through our veins? That, right there, is the dream.
According to an email the Huffington Post received from Gosling’s representatives, “This is not true.” Well that seems pretty straightforward. There’s not a lot of wiggle room, or any vagaries so we can glom onto and speculate about. Ryan Gosling will not be in Episode VII. So if you had any hope seeing Gosling wield a lightsaber, pilot an X-Wing, or use the force, you have my condolences.
This latest casting story falling apart does seem to confirm Gosling’s previous statements that he wants to move away from acting, at least for a while. He still has some roles lined up—most notably in the next Terrance Malick movie—but hasn’t committed to anything new on the acting side since March, when he said, “I need a break from myself as much as I imagine the audience does.” The Only God Forgives star is also scheduled to make his directorial debut in 2014, with the dark fantasy How to Catch a Monster. While he won’t appear in the film, sci-fi fans will see a familiar face, as Doctor Who’s Matt Smith is the male lead. This actually sounds like a good time, full of magical underworlds, and if nothing else, it’ll be interesting to see Gosling’s chops as a writer and director.
You may also recall that the initial report included mention of another possible Star Wars casting note. Zac Effron, yet another young actor with ties to Disney—see, my theory doesn’t sound so crazy now, does it—was up for an unspecified role. There was speculation that he could have played Jacen Solo, one of Han and Leia’s twins. While HuffPo reached out to the High School Musical star’s people, they haven’t heard anything either way regarding his involvement. So there’s still a chance that Effron could come play in the Star Wars universe, unless he’s too busy playing catch with his dead brother. (Sorry, I can never resist a good Charlie St. Cloud joke.)