Man, there must really be something to all this Star Wars: Episode VII business. Seems like every day casting rumors hit the web with greater fanfare than the announcement of a new pope.
Just a few days ago it was revealed that Breaking Bad and Friday Night Lights actor Jesse Plemons was among the latest performers to try out for the cast of J.J. Abrams‘ continuation of George Lucas‘ epic space fantasy franchise. Today adds a few more interesting names to the Episode VII mix, namely Adam Driver (Girls), Hugo Weaving (Cloud Atlas), and star-on-the-rise Michael Fassbender.
Weaving was believed to have read for the part of an unnamed Imperial commander, which the actor best known to action and comic book movie fans for playing classic villains like Agent Smith (The Matrix) and the Red Skull (Captain America) could excel at with gold medal professionalism. It is unknown what roles could have interested Fassbender and Driver. In recent months, Driver has also been rumored to be up for the role of Nightwing in Batman Vs. Superman (or whatever the title ends up being). Fassbender’s dance card has stayed pretty full since 2011 and he has the video game adaptation Assassin’s Creed, which he’s also producing, set for a Summer 2015 release….just a few months before the scheduled opening of Episode VII.
In the article written for the Hollywood Reporter by Borys Kit that first mentioned these casting rumors, some light was finally shed on the actual reasons why screenwriter Michael Arndt ceded his duties to Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (who is also supposedly working on a Boba Fett solo feature). Contradicting the accepted gospel that Arndt departed the production to focus on other projects, it is now being suggested that the writer and Abrams clashed over the direction of the script, which was rumored to center around the progeny of series lead characters Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher).
If the chatter is to be believed, Abrams apparently wanted to shift the focus onto Luke, Han, and Leia instead in order to give them “a fitting send-off.” The children of these characters would spend Episode VII in supporting roles, then move into the leads for future sequels. Abrams and Kasdan haven’t been rewriting Arndt’s script so much as they’ve been completely overhauling it. Roles that had been written with younger actors (such as Mud‘s Tye Sheridan) in mind were now being re-envisioned for their older peers. This hasn’t stopped Abrams from meeting with actors from nearly every working age group imaginable. The production is also searching for an actress who is either black or mixed race to play a role that could be that of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s daughter or granddaughter, though no names have been mentioned as of yet. Tomorrow’s another day.
Star Wars: Episode VII is still opening on December 18, 2015. For now.