Hard news on what’s happening with Star Wars: Episode VII will hopefully start to arrive soon – it’s due in December 2015, after all – but for now we fans can content ourselves with exciting casting rumors. The latest reports peg some familiar names for unknown roles in the J.J. Abrams-directed film, including Jesse Plemons (who we previously heard about), Michael Fassbender, Adam Driver, and Hugo Weaving (via The Hollywood Reporter). Abrams is also said to be on the hunt for “a twentysomething female actress who is either of mixed race or black” to play (again, a rumor) the daughter or granddaughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Plemons, who played creepster Todd in the final season of Breaking Bad, reportedly has a meeting with Abrams set for this week. The word is that Weaving and Fassbender met with him as well, with Weaving specifically up for the role of an unnamed Imperial commander. There’s no mention of Driver having sat down with Abrams, only that he’s being “eyed” for a role.
The THR update also sheds new light on what happened back in 2013 when Michael Arndt stopped his work on the script, and Empire Strikes Back writer Lawrence Kasdan stepped in to co-write with J.J. Abrams. It seems that Arndt’s treatment put the focus in the story on the children of the original trilogy’s three heroes, Luke, Han, and Leia. Abrams, on the other hand, wants Episode VII to stick to the original heroes while the kids take on more of a supporting role. This would serve to both establish the new characters while also giving the familiar faces an appropriate send-off. The subsequent two movies would then move the Skywalker and Solo kids into the forefront.
All of this remains unconfirmed, of course. The Lucasfilm camp has been very quiet with any sort of official announcements beyond release date changes. We should be hearing plenty more rumors like this soon, in the run-up to official casting announcements. Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters on December 18, 2015.