As the Bantha-sized shoot for Star Wars: Episode VII romps ever closer, more and more names are being rumoured as torch-bearer J.J. Abrams meets with just about every actor short of the Nag End On Sea panto troupe. Just a couple of days ago, Breaking Bad’s Jesse Plemons was ruymoured for a role and now the list has gotten even longer, with Michael Fassbender, Hugo Weaving and Girls’ Adam Driver mentioned in the mix.
Naturally, here we must caution you to sound the Star Wars Rumour Alert Klaxon at room-shaking volume, because while writer/producer/director Abrams has met with approximately 73 million actors (rough estimate) including the likes of Saoirse Ronan, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael B. Jordan and Jack O’Connell, no one has been confirmed and several have even said they’re no longer in the running. And of course, Disney and Lucasfilm are playing coy until official announcements are made.
But even more intriguing in the Hollywood Reporter’s story is the apparent shift in storytelling focus for the film, with Bothan spies using their last gasps to report that the reason Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan took over script duties from Toy Story 3’s Michael Arndt was over a difference of opinion, with Arndt gearing the story towards the offspring of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Abrams preferring to see the classic trilogy characters front and centre for Episode VII before the kids take over for future films in a passing-the-lightsaber-style kick-off.
We’ll probably get little confirmation of the musical chairs nature of the script at least until the film is out, but it’s fascinating to speculate how the Star Wars universe is evolving. The finished product, starring R2D2 and whoever ends up making the final cut, will arrive on December 18, 2015.