The confirmed cast of Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One already had one Oscar nominee in Felicity Jones, and now the project has gone a step farther and added a bona fide Oscar-winner in Forest Whitaker.
The actor, who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland, will play an unspecified role in the Star Wars spinoff project, according to Variety. The film will reportedly follow a group of rebel fighters who conspire to steal the plans for the Galactic Empire’s super-weapon, The Death Star, in order to give the Rebel Alliance a chance to destroy it. The film will be set between the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and lead into the events of the latter film.
Whitaker joins a cast that already includes aforementioned Oscar nominee Jones (The Theory of Everything), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler), Diego Luna (Milk), Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman), and Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises). Jones is expected to play the primary protagonist in the film, which is being described as a gritty, wartime heist movie set in the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One will be directed by Monsters and Godzilla filmmaker Gareth Edwards from a script co-written by veteran Star Wars visual-effects supervisor John Knoll, The Golden Compass and About a Boy screenwriter Chris Weitz, and The Book of Eli screenwriter Gary Whitta. Oscar-winning composer Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel, The King’s Speech) will provide the score for the film.
The film will be the first of several spinoff movies set in the Star Wars universe, and is currently the only one with a confirmed title and general plot details. The second spinoff movie is rumored to focus on bounty hunter Boba Fett, but that has yet to be officially confirmed (or denied) by Disney.
Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One is currently scheduled to hit theaters December 16, 2016.