Variety is reporting that Girls’ Adam Driver is “close to signing on” to play Episode VII’s villian. He’s their “top choice to play the main villain.” Driver’s name first came up for Episode VII from the Hollywood Reporter earlier this year, along with Michael Fassbender and Hugo Weaving. Today, they also have a source saying Driver is nearing a deal.
Driver has never been someone I’d expect to come up, which is a good thing. And, nothing against Fassbender and Weaving, but he’s a fairly fresh face who’s not attached to any other genre franchises. If this turns out to be the case – and as trades, both Variety and the Hollywood Reporter are as trustworthy as you can expect when it comes to rumors – I think this may be a good sign for the rest of the non-alumni casting.
It’s still a rumor, however, until Lucasfilm says so!
UPDATE #1: Lena Dunham, the executive producer/writer/star of Girls, who would almost certainly have to know if scheduling issues were a factor as Variety claims, tweeted…
Of course, she ‘retracted’ a few minutes later, but there you go:
UPDATE #2: Entertainment Weekly also has “sources close to the actor” who say “he is indeed close to being confirmed” for a Star Wars role.
MarketSaw is far from the top tier in rumormongering, but we haven’t heard much else lately… For the most part, this is all well-worn ground and things we’ve seen in multiple rumors before. Even what’s not direct regurgitation here is still pretty familiar:
Ultimately it’s about twins, and which will take a path towards darkness and which will follow in their fathers footsteps, or at least that is what it used to be, that may come later as I think changes are being undertaken to bring the original cast into the forefront of the story leading to ramifications that lead up to the next generation of Skywalkers.”
As for casting. they’re saying that in addition to all-but-certain returnees (Hamill, Fisher, Ford, Daniels) and not-that surprising alumni (Billy Dee Williams, Warwick “Davies,” erm Davis?) they’re repeating the Ian McDiarmid rumor from August. They’re also claiming that the much-rumored Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman were up for the same part… But they are “both involved.”
And it apparently took two Indiana Jones movies to get Ford on Episode VII now.
These are, again, pretty sketchy even for random rumors, so don’t take anything too much to heart.
Here’s a quick drive-by for the evening: Bleeding Cool says they’ve heard that Episode VII’s female lead has been cast, and she’ll be “the big news” regarding casting, “though folk might not realise it until after they see the film.” This is tacked on in their item about Jack Reynor, though, so take it as you will.
Whatever the case, as Making Star Wars points out, things do have to be motion fairly soon if they’re going to start shooting in May. It’s a good bet the whos are already picked or close to it: The only thing really in question is when they’re going to (or can) share the news with us.
And here’s another from Den of Geek this morning, which at the very least seems/feels slightly more probable than the last one. They report that there’s been a clampdown on the Pinewood prop shop, but that the modelmakers are working on a Millennium Falcon (as frequently reported and possibly proved) and lightsaber hilts. The modelmakers also supposedly have seven-year contracts covering the new trilogy and three spin-offs.
They’re also reporting that the planning office has a listing for an Indiana Jones 5, which wouldn’t be all that surprising giving Disney and Paramount’s announcement regarding the franchise in December.
At AICN, buried under Harry Knowles’ thoughts on last week’s concept art, he claims to have heard that Irish actor Jack Reynor has a role in Episode VII. Reynor will be seen in Transformers: Age of Extinction, but we’ll try not to hold that against him if this turns out to be true: Actors gotta eat.
Taking a weirder turn is Den of Geek‘s report that the role of Princess Leia may be open, which seems odd. Is Carrie Fisher really not returning, is it a red herring, or did someone mishear something along the line? I know which one gets my vote…
Toy Fair. Jedi Temple Archives reports (a bit hyperbolically) that Lucasfilm has told Hasbro that the Expanded Universe is off limits, save for a few figures that were already in the pipeline.
I think this makes sense. We’ve never gotten all that much EU from Hasbro to begin with, and at this point any EU figure is going to be pounced on by fans as some sort of “proof” for Episode VII. They’re cutting back on prequel-era figures as well, to focus on the OT – with a heavy focus on Return of the Jedi as we approach the new films – and Rebels.
Rebels. Is Brent Spiner voicing a character? This tweet from Gallifrey One, a con held in Los Angeles this weekend, leads us to believe so… The actor, who played Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation, has worked with Rebels’ Greg Weisman before – they were on a Young Justice panel at the con. (He voiced The Joker on the show.) He was also one of several TNG actors who did voices on Weisman’s Gargoyles. And we’ve had Trek crossover before: George Takei voiced General Lok Durd on The Clone Wars.
Episode VII. Tom Hiddleston and Alex Pettyfer talk their Star Wars chances. (Both unlikely, if for very different reasons) while an Irish unknown, Daryl McCormack, talks about getting far on in the audition process.
Through yonder Lando breaks. Ali Arikan say Billy Dee Williams is indeed on board for Episode VII. (Detailing on his last report.) Meanwhile, Fans Share (via) says Williams has been “insinuating” that he’s doing work on Rebels as well. Though a lot of that seems awfully familiar, so it may just be regurgitated rumor-mongering.
Business. The Hollywood Reporter has some details of what’s going on with ILM in London as the company beefs up in preparation for more Star Wars and Marvel (among others) work. They’re also expanding in Vancouver.
Expanded Universe. The Star Wars Books Facebook page had a chat with author Joe Schreiber today on Maul: Lockdown. You can read it directly or through the recap at Suvudu.
J.J. Abrams said Episode VII would be shooting in May, we heard a report last week that May 18th was the first day and most of the returning folks are signed on, and now Drew McWeeny at HitFix is jumping on that train as well.
Reminder: We define ‘confirmed’ as and ONLY as word from Lucasfilm themselves, or a media outlet with Lucasfilm’s blessing (like last week’s parade of Rebels posters) but this one does seem to be a pretty safe bet if you’re into that sort of thing. I just hope this doesn’t mean we’re on the hook until May for cast announcements!
Access Reel is reporting that all six movies will be shown in Australian theaters the weekend of May 4: The prequel trilogy on Saturday the 3rd, and the original trilogy on Sunday the 4th. As far as they’ve heard it’s only in Australia, though… (via)
If this is an international happening, it would be a nice way to capitalize on the “May the 4th” phenomenon, but I expect it’s something they’d have to announce very
Today from Ali Arikan on Twitter: Episode VII will shoot May 19 to August 8, with moving into offices in late April. “Everyone’s back,” he says, and casting is complete “barring two leads.” (Does “everyone” extend beyond the expected Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Anthony Daniels? Billy Dee?)
We’ve heard several things from Arikan, some of which may still pan out, some of which haven’t, but he is respected among the veteran rumormongers regardless. Last month he said filming could start on April 22, which is close to his move-in date this time. As always, I recommend taking this with a grain of salt, but Abrams did say filming was likely to begin in May.
Original tweet below the cut. Continue reading