There are a few things floating around in regards to Episode VIII, gleaned from The Wrap‘s Jeff Sneider during a Meet the Movie Press chat. (Via Screenrant.)
Sneider said that principal photography in VIII has been pushed back a month in order to accommodate script changes. The new female roles have apparently been minimized to focus more on Rey and the other characters we met in The Force Awakens, and Gina Rodriguez is out. Bel Powely is still a question mark, but one of the roles has gone to an unknown Asian actress.
It’s rather telling that Sneider hasn’t this for The Wrap – almost nothing we’ve heard about VIII has been solid enough for the trades to touch formally, so feel free to be cynical on this. In any case, Episode VIII is still set for a May 26, 2017 release.
There’s a new name in the mix for the unknown new female character in Episode VIII: Diary of a Teenage Girl’s Bel Powley. Previous names related to the role are Gugu Mbatha-Raw (who’s apparently out?) Gina Rodriguez and Olivia Cooke.
There was an earlier rumor that there were two new roles for the Rian Johnson directed film drawing from the same shortlist, but that’s yet to be collaborated beyond the initial report.
Powley is getting a lot of good buzz for Girl, and also appears as the young Princess Margaret in A Royal Night Out.
As always, remember these are only rumors, and they are anything but solid. Episode VIII is due to begin shooting this month, so hopefully we’ll hear something solid on any newcomers soon.
Today’s must read is Lawrence Kasdan at the Los Angeles Times. He talks about coming back to Star Wars, working with J.J. Abrams, canon (pure gold here), and the inate goofiness of the original trilogy. Just some great stuff.
Plus, on Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII: “He’s going to make some weird thing.”
→ Settle your bets: The crossguard blades on Kylo Ren’s lightsaber “are raw power vented from the primary central blade,” per the description on display at Disneyland’s Star Wars Launch Bay. (IGN has a tour.) We already knew he built it himself, but the design is “ancient.” (via Reddit)
→ Speaking of Kylo, we haven’t seen much of Adam Driver lately, but he did tell Vulture that he found SDCC to be “intense” and “surprisingly moving.”
→ The Force Awakens is skipping some early award shows, says The Wrap, but the only one here you may have heard of is the Screen Actors Guild Awards. It will be out in time for consideration for the Academy Awards.
→ Variety says there was indeed new music from The Force Awakens in the Shondaland spot.
“I haven’t been offered anything,” Gugu Mbatha-Raw told E! of the rumor that she’ll be in Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII. Either it’s the plain truth, or she is way (way) better at this then Benicio del Toro.
There’s a rumor that Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) got one of those (rumored) Episode VIII roles, but it’s based on Rian Johnson and John Boyega following her on Twitter, which, okay. To be fair, plenty of us read a random Rian Johnson tweet as a hint towards Gugu Mbatha-Raw, so maybe there’s something to it after all. Verdict: Maybe!
There’s another rumor going around regarding Finn’s last name. I won’t even link anyone who’s running it because it’s based on an unofficial description from a third-party Amazon listing, and shockingly, that is nowhere near a sound source. Verdict: Ha ha, no.