Benicio del Toro continues to be less than secretive about his status regarding Episode VIII. He told a Spanish radio station (transcribed and translated by a Star Wars 7 News reader) that he’s “like the villain” and that he believes they begin shooting in March.
→ A new image banner, has been spotted – it’s made up of two fairly familiar pieces, though: The First Order images we saw on Empire and the First Order assembled. (via)
→ An analyst estimates that The Force Awakens “could generate $5 billion in consumer merchandise sales in its first year of release,” per The Hollywood Reporter. In $150 increments, I expect.
→ Speaking of merchandise, there have been a handful of reviews of the Cover Girl line poping up. Today’s is from Tracy and Amanda at Making Star Wars, and another of a couple of the lipsticks from Love for Lacquer.
We heard she was up for the Rogue One role that eventually went to Felicity Jones, but Star Wars isn’t ready to give up on Orphan Black’sTatiana Maslany, it seems. The Wrap reports that she’s on the shortlist for the new female lead in Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII, alongside Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’sOlivia Cooke. They’ll supposedly be among the actresses who’ll chemistry read with John Boyega later this month.
Aside from the The Force Awakens stars expected to return (including Boyega and Daisy Ridley, who’s signed for at least three films) the only name we’ve heard connected with the second film is Benicio del Toro, who’s reportedly in talks to play a villain.
Today’s crazy rumor comes to us from The Daily Mail, so be sure to treat it with the upmost sincerity.
The Mail says that Rogue One will feature a “digitally recreated” Peter Cushing reprising Grand Moff Tarkin. Okay!
To their credit, it is somewhat plausible, given the great strides we’ve seen in digital makeup recently, but the performance would also be under far greater scrutiny… Of course, we also heard similar rumors for Revenge of the Sith, where young Tarkin (played by Wayne Pygram and a lot of makeup) showed up only briefly with no actual lines. But the article also goes on to describe (presumably) ILMers recreating his legs, which seems a bit disingenuous when you could hire a talented stand-in. Maybe their source is actually talking about Battlefront?
A site called GeekNation claims they’ve heard through the ever nebulous “sources” that Rian Johnson and company are looking for an actress to play a “strong, young female character” who will be “featured heavily” in Episode VIII.
Where I start to side-eye things is who the sources say this character specifically is, but that’s spoiler territory (including some fairly mild speculation on The Force Awakens,) so I’ll steer clear.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard that Episode VIII may feature another leading woman; Making Star Wars had something back in June, though the specifics were quite different. (Or were they?)
But as much as I hope for continued variety of Star Wars ladies in this new trilogy, I’ve never heard of this GeekNation site before and can’t vouch for their reporting at all. The salt cellar is close at hand.
Legendary poster artist Drew Struzan told Movie Weekly that The Force Awakens is “probably going to be the best Star Wars you’ve ever seen.” Pretty high praise, even from a guy being paid by Lucasfilm. He also talks about how J.J. Abrams called him up, how much of the film he’s seen, his process, and why the lightsaber colors on the Revenge of the Jedi poster were reversed.
→ On that note, a nice, if top-heavy, piece from newcomer The Star Wars Post on if Star Wars 7 News leaking the Luke Skywalker image crossed a spoiler line. I’ll just say that SW7N has never exactly been known for their sound judgement, which is why I tend to warn so profusly when linking them.
Benicio Del Toro, who’s reportedly in talks for an important role in Episode VIII, told Entertainment Tonight that “it looks like it’s gonna happen.” Let’s hope that Rian Johnson is more forgiving of information slips than J.J. Abrams…
→ Indie Revolver has a collection of concept art that could very well be more Knights of Ren, the group that (apparently) gave rise to our pal Kylo.
→ After dropping a big bombshell on fandom last night, Star Wars 7 News plays it a bit safer today, with… The film’s marketing plan. Their apparent willingness to leak images aside, I don’t find SW7N the most trustworthy site, but the bit about “a mandate from the absolute top down” rings fairly true.
Could Tom Baker, who played the Fourth Doctor on Doctor Who, be the second (official) Doctor to come to Star Wars? “I’m going to be in this new Star Wars thing, you know,” he told fans at a recent convention, per Sci-Fi Fantasy Network. “I’m going down to recording some voices for this new character they’ve created for me, very soon.”
The article references The Clone Wars, but a voice part makes me think the mostly likely answer is Rebels. Or, if you want to go a little further, he could be lending his voice to a character in Rogue One.
One of Baker’s Doctor Who successors, Tenth Doctor David Tennant, voiced a droid on The Clone Wars in 2012.
A picture of Mark Hamill in costume as Luke Skywalker for The Force Awakens has been C&Ded all over the place – including the source – so it’s likely legit, but I’m not going to post it myself. The internet being the internet, chances are you’ll have no trouble finding it, even if you don’t want to find it.
If you can’t resist, sites still running it (as of post time) include Indie Revolver and Heroic Hollywood. And it’s been posted multiple times in the Luke Skywalker tag on Tumblr, a trend which will no doubt continue. Catch them while you can!
And today’s hot rumor is… The Force Awakens’ Blu-ray release date, maybe. It’s April 26, 2016, according to Jedi News. Seems pretty likely, but man it’s weird that we’re already at the point where rumors are dealing with the home releases.
→ There’s a new Adam Driver interview at Esquire. This publicity tour is going to be interesting, that’s for sure.