She may be an underrated part of the overall Star Wars: The Force Awakens experience, but she’s still pretty significant: Daisy Ridley, the young actress who was completely unknown prior to her casting in the film. She played a role that was essentially the protagonist, absolutely knocked it out of the park, and was responsible for what most consider the best moment of the film – when her character Rey uses the Force to summon a lightsaber prior to her duel with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
Since the success of The Force Awakens, which became the top-grossing film ever at the domestic box office, the 24-year-old Ridley has lined up a handful of new projects, including the J.J. Abrams-produced Kolma, another film called The Lost Wife as well as, of course, Star Wars Episode VIII and Episode IX. Now, Ridley has added another film to her schedule.
Ridley has signed on to star in Chaos Walking, the adaptation of the first installment in a young-adult novel series by Patrick Ness. Variety reported the casting, which was announced this week on an earnings call by Lionsgate.
Doug Liman, best known as director of The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow, is on board to direct Chaos Walking, with Jamie Linden having authored the most recent version of the script. The source novel, Chaos Walking: The Knife of Never Letting Go, was published in 2008 and concerns a dystopian future in which all creatures can hear the thoughts of all other creatures.
The news of Ridley getting starring roles is good, because she’s clearly a special talent who has a bright future both inside and outside the Star Wars universe. She shows the sort of range in The Force Awakens that should easily translate to the sort of story that requires both dramatic and action chops. And since the novel is first in a series, Ridley may very well get the chance to star in more than one Chaos Walking film.
On the other hand, the era of the dystopian YA movie adaptations appears to be approaching its end, considering the expiration of the Hunger Games franchise and the dramatic petering out of the Divergent series, which will conclude next year with a TV movie. And the last time Liman directed a star vehicle for a young Star Wars actor, it was the 2008 flop Jumper, that featured young Anakin Skywalker himself, Hayden Christensen.
The Chaos Walking movie will get underway in 2017; there is no release date yet announced.