Rumor: Lupita Nyong’o close to signing on for Episode VII?

Lupita Nyong’o

Latino Review is reporting that Lupita Nyong’o, fresh off an Oscar win for 12 Years a Slave, is “extremely close to signing” on to Episode VII. (And, honestly, when folks were first teasing the Judi Dench rumor as someone on the awards circuit, my first thought was ‘Lupita!’)

The part “doesn’t seem to be tied into the family lines” from the previous films and may be a Sith. We had heard in previous rumors that one of the female roles might be for a villain.

There’s no doubt that Nyong’o is talented, and she’d be a lucky addition to any cast. But, per usual, it’s only a rumor.

UPDATE: I had just barely posted this when The Hollywood Reporter came out backing it (more or less.) This rumor just got a lot more legit…

7 Replies to “Rumor: Lupita Nyong’o close to signing on for Episode VII?”

  1. She could be cast as Han Solo himself and I wouldn’t complain. So stoked to hear that she’s up for a role in the new films….

  2. If they’re casting her as a Sith, the political correctness crowd will go berserk (as in: Watto was an anti-semitic caricature and Vader was racist because of his voice #Ohbrother).
    Then again: I would love to see her tackle an improved mashup of Lumiya, any kind of Emperor’s Hand, and Asajj Ventress. And sure, let her be a descendant of Obi-Wan if that’s what it takes.

    1. “Political correctness?” Is it still the 90’s?

      Anyway, yes, casting PoCs as villains is a concern. But:

      a) We have no idea if that’s what this part actually is.

      b) Even if she is playing a Sith or other ‘evil’ character, there’s no guarantee that she stays that way. I would hope that Luke’s Jedi Order continues on what started in ROTJ, namely that dark siders can be redeemed. That would also give your Oscar winner a significant character arc to play – you don’t have to hire a great actor to play a flat villain. (Not that it’s ever stopped anyone.) So, yes, I see something in the vein of an Emperor’s Hand/Mara type of role being more likely than a henchman/Maul or Queen of Naboo-style glorified cameo.

      (I see someone, somewhere, wanting scream out ‘Vestara,’ Don’t. ::ice glare::)

      1. I think ‘political correctness’ is still a widely-used term – not saying that’s a good thing! (by the way, surely by now there should be no ‘concern’ about casting whoever as whoever – the only way to get beyond racism is for it to be a *total* non-issue) and what’s with this ‘PoC’ term – how is that any better than defining someone by their skin-colour?

        We also have no idea that Luke will have a Jedi Order in the sequel trilogy. He might be a lone Jedi Knight.

        I agree that if an Oscar-winning actress or actor is cast in any role, a character arc is a good thing so they have something substantial to work with.

        1. “Political correctness” is still in use – but I’m not sure I’d want to be grouped in with the types of people who still use it. It’s more a red flag than anything else these days.

          And PoC (person of color, for anyone not up on the lingo) does seem to be preferred nomenclature, at least for the moment. These things can and do evolve, of course, and nothing is universal.

          Unfortunately, the world being the way it is now, issues of race simply aren’t a complete non-issue. (And pretending that they are is just dishonest. The playing field is simply not level for everyone. Winning the Oscar does not mean that Lupita will have the same opportunities that, say, Jennifer Lawrence got after her first nomination in 2011.) We can guess or assume that it’s so in-universe (at least in regards to humans,) but that’s not at all the issue at hand.

          Also, just for the hell of it, I’m going to throw in a piece on why reverse racism is poodoo, Brian’s deconstruction of four common arguments on diversity in media, a simple 101 primer on the concept of privilege, and a good roundup on why representation matters.

  3. Well, I probably qualify as a member of the “political correctness crowd”, and I would love to see Lupita play a villain! Obviously casting PoCs as villains can be problematic when the roles reinforce negative stereotypes. However, there are a whole lot of different ways in which one can be a villain. For example, I’ve never heard anybody complain about Chiwetel Ejiofor playing a villain in “Serenity”, and for good reason – the character was an interesting, compelling one with his own warped but comprehensible morality. If Lupita was playing a character like that (or alternatively a more “grey” character with a strong personal journey, a la Mara Jade or Ventress in TCW) then I’m pretty sure everybody would love her and love the role. It’s only when casting falls into lazy and stereotype-reinforcing grooves (“black = thug”, “slippery devious Asians” etc,) that it becomes a cause for complaint.

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