Report: Tatiana Maslany, Rooney Mara testing for Star Wars spinoff

Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)We’re months away from filming and there have been zero casting rumors regarding Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars spin-off, but that changed this evening. The Hollywood Reporter says that Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and Rooney Mara (David Fincher ‘s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) are among those testing for a role.

Felicity Jones, who’s been hitting the Oscar circuit for The Theory of Everything, is also in the mix. UPDATE: As is Rooney’s sister, Kate Mara, per Variety’s Justin Kroll.

In any case, it’s pretty heartening that the first casting we hear for the spin-off is a woman – and Maslany especially is an exciting option that’s already giving this rumor a lot of buzz. (No matter which way this goes, you should really be watching Orphan Black.)

Making Star Wars has a bit more on the spin-off this evening, including that it may shot partly in Mexico and a few other (potentially spoilerly, though only broadly) bits.

Today in The Force Awakens: How much of George Lucas’ outlines are in the sequels? Not a lot, he claims.

glToday’s The Force Awakens controversy, or whatever you would like to call it: In a Strange Magic interview, George Lucas says that the version of the sequel trilogy that we’re getting are not the ones he wrote. Or, to be precise, per Cinema Blend:

The ones that I sold to Disney, they came up to the decision that they didn’t really want to do those. So they made up their own. So it’s not the ones that I originally wrote.

As with anything involving Star Wars and George Lucas, the reactions have been mixed. Bryan at Big Shiny Robot breaks out a Simon Kinberg quote where he maintains that George’s blueprint is still very much a part of the development, and points out that changes have been a part of all the Star Wars films.

Either way, I have a hard time getting upset. Even without Kinberg weighing in, it’s pretty clear that nothing in this franchise ever truly gets thrown out. To paraphrase Eleven-ThirtyEight, every bit of the buffalo gets used. And we’ve seen over the years that it’s just as possible to do a good Star Wars story without George Lucas as it is to do an unsatisfactory one with him. But the internet’s gotta internet, so I expect we’ll be hearing plenty from all sides of the issue before the week is out.

→ In other news, add a new name (and woman!) to the cast list: Leanne Best of Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death.

→ Shocking no one, LEGO confirms they will be making sets for The Force Awakens. The surprise is that they’re actually showing them off at the UK Toy Fair – along with a non-disclose agreement. But we can see the nifty tote bag that Jedi News got.

/Film maintains that we won’t be seeing the classic heroes in the second trailer, despite the Latino Review report.

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George Lucas has seen The Force Awakens trailer. “It was intriguing,” he told Page Six at a New York screening of Strange Magic. He had more to say on the animated film, of course: “I have been working on this film for 15 years. I was thinking about Star Wars being designed for 12-year- old boys, and I thought maybe I’ll make a film for 12-year-old girls, because I have a lot of daughters. And girls go to the movies. I worked on it on the side for those years, and we finally got it done.”

Catching up with Marvel: April solicitations, reprints, and what can we do for more Leia?

Princess Leia #3 (Marvel)Marvel solicitations for April are out. (Hattip to ‏@DarthSpiriah.) It includes Kanan: The Last Padawan #1 (which has a little art peek at StarWars.com,) but the real curiosity may be Princess Leia #3 – or rather, the second woman on the cover. Some are suspecting it’s Winter, a Legends character it would make sense to bring back given that we know the miniseries is dealing with Alderaan, but I wouldn’t say no to a brand-new lady pilot. Either way, we’ll find out in April. UPDATE: She’s a new character.

And depite the million or so copies in circulation, Star Wars #1 is going back for a second and third printing. In CBR’s latest Axel’s In Charge Q&A, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso talks a bit about Star Wars #1 and the line in general. On that note, Darth Vader #1 is looking like it’ll sell more than 200,000 copies.

There was a report from Bleeding Cool yesterday that a Lando Calrissian comic is in the works. It’s a nice idea, but don’t expect any announcements today, per Marvel editor Jordan D. White.

Meanwhile, on his Tumblr, White has answered a few Star Wars questions. Here’s one to be aware of – while the current Leia comic is a 5-issue miniseries, it could lead to an ongoing if sales are good enough. As for Mara Jade? “Only time will tell.” Waru, on the other hand, gets a pretty firm “nope.”

But for those hungry for more prequel era stories beyond Kanan, Jordan does say he has “a couple of ideas for series I think would fit really well there.”