Deadline says that Ben Mendelsohn is “circling a lead role” for Rogue One. The Australian character actor has had a number of roles in Hollywood, including The Dark Knight Rises and The Place Beyond the Pines.
The only confirmed cast member for Rogue One is Felicity Jones. Other actors who have been linked to the project in the trades are Aaron Paul and Edgar Ramirez. The Gareth Edwards-directed film will begin filming at Pinewood this summer for a December 2016 release.
There’s a new report regarding the (a?) live-action series which gives us some idea of when we might actually see one. Cinelinx claims that it is indeed in the pipeline, but the plan is to work around the film shooting schedules… By filming it at Pinewood between movies, which would allow them to reuse film sets. So they’re waiting until that all smooths out, which I’m guessing means after Episode VIII – and Jordan speculates 2017 at the very earliest.
We still don’t know if said show will be the ‘Underworld’ version that was bouncing around (and eventually shelved) back in Lucas’ day, but one hint? It’ll involve a “book character.” (I wouldn’t get too excited about that one, though.)
The big news today is StarWars.com confirming that John Williams will be recording The Force Awakens score in Los Angeles, the first time a Star Wars score has been recorded in the U.S.
But I’ve been sitting on a few other things, so:
→ There was some scuttlebutt about how Oscar Isaac said he would be excited to work with Episode VIII director Rian Johnson, and (of course) the internet jumped on that as proof his character survives Episode VII. Now, I’d be very surprised if Poe Dameron kicks it that early, seeing as we suspect – with very heavy assistance from the trailer – that he’s one of the new Big 3. But for what it’s worth, /Film sought a clarification from him, and there’s your lesson in making hay out of Star Wars news for the week.
→ And now the rumors/spoilers: Making Star Wars had pieces on Kylo Ren and his connection to some earlier concept art, some stuff on Poe Dameron and Finn from early in the film, plus a look how things fit together from there. Then there’s some concept art of Ren and how it may connect to ‘Captain Phasma.’
According to (deep breath) Latino Review, J.J. Abrams may return to direct the final film of the new trilogy. Making Star Wars has a source saying the same thing.
There are also rumblings out and about that Francis Lawrence, who directed the last three Hunger Games movies, is in the running as well.
We’ve previously heard that Episode VIII director Rian Johnson would also script and perhaps direct the third installment as well, but this far out it’s hard to say in any case.
Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson have been making the rounds at SXSW for that other sci-fi film they’re in, Ex Machina, and basically being adorable dorks.
At MTV, Gleeson “almost has a stroke” when the interviewer says ‘Poe Dameron,’ AND we learn how to pronounce ‘Domhnall,’ which will certainly come in handy. With E!, they talk about stepping onto set for the first time.
→ One Episode VII crew worker is putting up his special cast and crew gear to help raise funds for his daughter, Elise, who has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Care for Elise donations are accepted through Go Fund Me, and anyone who donates has a chance to win the gear.
→ Making Star Wars has a report on The Force Awakens editorial process, which is actually pretty safe for the spoiler-free among us. Just don’t click anywhere else, like their attempt at decoding the teaser shot-for-shot or this speculative piece on Poe Dameron’s X-wing.
Making Star Wars has a report today about how we met Rey and how the Millennium Falcon IMAX sequence plays out. We already knew that the Falcon sequence we saw in the trailer is part of it, but Jason goes into further detail. Or possible detail. In any case it sounds pretty cool.
→ And speaking of trailers… There’s a rumor floating around today that gives a supposed play-by-play of the second trailer. While there is not a doubt in anyone’s mind that there will be a second trailer debuting at Celebration, it won’t be that one, per Jason. And honestly, I trust Jason more than I do the sites originating/spreading this rumored breakdown, almost all of which draw from concept art and other reports from (you guessed it) Making Star Wars.
Dave Filoni talks further about the Rebels finale, the return of Ahsoka and what’s up next with IGN. There’s an interesting bit on how there was a lot of interest in exploring hercontinuing story in other media, where Filoni argues in favor of, basically, delayed gratification:
I always feel strongly that while we can have everything at our fingertips right now, something that made Star Wars so powerful to me growing up was we would go through a long period of time where we wondered what happened to Han Solo. He was stuck in carbonite. Now, everything’s instant. But I think we built a deep love and connection to our characters because, for lack of a better term, we dreamed about what they were going through. We wondered and we anticipated, so when the payoffs came, I think it was a lot better, a lot stronger, so I thought making people wait to find out what happened to Ahsoka just built up her mystique a little bit more, a little bit better until we nailed her down.
He also addresses the challenge of Vader, including the (inevitable?) Ahsoka confrontation, the Inquisitor, the larger Rebel Alliance and more.
UPDATE: The third part of Filoni’s StarWars.com interview is up as well.
While we’re talking Rebels, there’s also a rumor making the rounds about a familiar voice actor returning to play an established (though not unexpected) character.
Making Star Wars’ latest report focuses on Leia’s role in The Force Awakens and how she relates to the larger plot, plus Jason’s own theories on what it all could mean.
He also elaborates on what could be the role of Korr Sella, the part played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers.
UAE’s The National has an interview with Andy Nettleton, one of two helicopter pilots who worked on The Force Awakens as it filmed in Abu Dhabi. It’s a nice (and mostly spoiler-free) look at the process. (via)
→ Making Star Wars played it light this weekend, bringing us only a list of names and a hint at one recurring character – or is it species?
It’s not clear if ‘Journey to Episode VII’ will be an official series title for the young adult books leading into the movie, but Jedi Bibliothek (translated) did reveal the first title: The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure. It’s expected to summarize Luke’s story from the original trilogy, touching on events after Return of the Jedi, perhaps all the way up to the start of Episode VII.
UPDATE: The Leia book is Moving Target, Han’s is Smuggler‘s Run and Florian has written an overview of the Episode VII publishing plan for Making Star Wars.
All four books – one for each of the original trilogy heroes, plus one featuring what are expected to be all-new characters which is now named Lost Stars – will be released on September 4. Hopefully the appearance of a title means that some sort of official announcement is forthcoming…