We learned this week that Disney and Lucasfilm are having a bit of drama when it comes to Star Wars: Episode VII. Disney wants it in theaters sometime in 2015, while some of people on the creative side of the production want the film pushed to 2016 instead. The best way to get the ball rolling on Episode VII is casting and now it seems that the seventh installment in the Star Wars series might have found a new actor for its cast.
According to Jedi News, actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is being considered for the cast of Episode VII. Unsurprisingly, it’s unclear at this point who Ejiofor would play in the movie, but he reportedly met with director J.J. Abrams this week in London.
You can currently watch Chiwetel Ejiofor in his starring role as Solomon Northup in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave. He is also the frontrunner for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, so having a possible Oscar winner in the cast of Episode VII certainly couldn’t hurt. Ejiofor is no stranger to the sci-fi genre; hardcore Joss Whedon fans will know Ejiofor from Serenity in 2005. Ejiofor played The Operative, the cunning intelligence agent of the Alliance. The actor also played a vital role in Alfonso Cuarón’s masterpiece Children of Men in 2006. Ejiofor was also in About Time director Richard Curtis’ Love Actually in 2003.
Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams recently took over screenwriting duties from Michael Arndt on Episode VII. It’s unclear if Chiwetel Ejiofor would play a character from Arndt’s script, or if it’s a new character from the rumored Kasdan/Abrams page-one rewrite. Regardless, casting the film has to begin soon if Episode VII hopes to open in theaters in 2015.
At the moment, no actors have been cast in the film, but according to one of its hopefuls, Saoirse Ronan, “everybody” is auditioning for Star Wars. Actors Michael B. Jordan also confirmed that he auditioned for the space opera, while Daniel Day-Lewis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, David Oyelowo, Michael B. Jordan, Rachel Hurd-Wood, and Alex Pettyfer are all rumored to be up for roles in Episode VII.
Actor Harrison Ford is reportedly considering signing a multi-picture deal with Lucasfilm and Disney to reprise his role as Han Solo not just Episode VII, but in the entire sequel trilogy. It’s also rumored that as part of the multi-picture deal Ford would play Indiana Jones again in a new film in the action/adventure film series. Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are also believed to be appearing in Episode VII, although there’s still no official casting news from Disney or Lucasfilm.
Jedi News is usually a solid source when it comes to Star Wars news, but until Disney, Lucasfilm, J.J. Abrams, or Chiwetel Ejiofor confirms it, take this news with a grain of salt. Mr. Ejiofor has the acting chops to be in any movie, let alone a Star Wars film, so if he does join the cast, Episode VII would be much more classy with his presence.
Star Wars: Episode VII is expected to open in theaters sometime in 2015.