Nothing’s official yet, but we now have a better sense of who might be facing off against Adam Driver’s likely antagonist in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. The shortlist for the movie’s lead hero Jedi role has reportedly been narrowed down to five potential stars who come from a mix of backgrounds, Variety reports.
Joining the previously rumored Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad) are screen actors Ed Speleers (Downton Abbey) and John Boyega (Attack the Block), as well as theater actors Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher. Thomas was the alternate for the Peter Parker role in Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Fisher is more of an up-and-comer, and is perhaps known best for his star performance as boxer Muhammad Ali in New York Workshops’ production of Fetch Clay, Make Man.
The report suggests that this lead role is for the part of a Jedi apprentice. That’s a product of the recent script re-write from Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan. Previously, the Michael Arndt-penned script was said to focus on the children of Han Solo and Princess Leia. Those characters still feature into the re-write, but in supporting roles.
Star Wars: Episode VII is currently expected to start shooting at London’s Pinewood Studios sometime between April and September 2014. We know we’ve said this before, but that schedule suggests we should hear some official casting news in the near future. Remember, everything related to the movie’s cast – Driver, the return of Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford, even this casting shortlist – remains completely unconfirmed. We’ve only reported on the most plausible chatter from reputable sources, but, as ever, make sure you keep that in mind as you consider all of this information.