‘Star Wars: Episode 7′: Lupita Nyong’o in the Running for Lead Role

Published 1 year ago by

star wars episoe 7 lupita nyongo Star Wars: Episode 7: Lupita Nyongo in the Running for Lead Role

Disney and Lucasfilm have joined forces to launch a new era in the Star Wars universe, beginning with the Disney XD cartoon series Star Wars Rebels in Fall 2014, followed by Episode VII in December 2015.

J.J. Abrams is directing the seventh live-action Star Wars installment, drawing from a script draft that he and Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi co-writer Lawrence Kasdan put together –  a script that, is turn, is based on the earlier screenplay by Oscar-winner Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire).

We spent the entirety of 2013 slogging through what felt like endless casting rumors for Episode VII, but of late we’ve been getting some real, solid updates on that front. First, Adam Driver (known best for his work on HBO’s Girls) was revealed to be all but officially-set to play the film’s central antagonist.

Then, just a couple days ago, a credible shortlist of actors who are currently sitting atop the roster of people in consideration to play the young male lead in Episode VII (read: character deets from an earlier casting call) was revealed.

The latest Episode VII casting update concerns what Latino Review (in its report) dubs a “major female role,” which the site claims Lupita Nyong’o – who just became an Oscar-winner for her performance in Best Picture-winner 12 Years a Slave – has been reading for this past month; as fuel on that fire, the report asserts that Nyong’o is “extremely close” to signing a deal to portray the mystery character in Abrams’ Star Wars movie.

THR is confirming that Nyong’o did, in fact, meet with Abrams for a lead role in Episode VII, not that long before the 2014 Academy Awards ceremony. The THR article doesn’t speculate on her chances, but it does clarify that the 31-year old is not being considered for the young female lead role, but another key role altogether (possibly, a Jedi).

star wars episode 7 release date3 Star Wars: Episode 7: Lupita Nyongo in the Running for Lead Role

Those who are keeping count may note that it now seems that Episode VII may well have at least three female main characters, including the 20-something lead, the role Nyong’o is in the running for, and Carrie Fisher returning as the elder Leia. That’s a nice change of pace for the live-action Star Wars cinematic-verse, which has a bad habit of under-representing its women.

It’s also true that executives behind Episode VII have financial reasons to want a diverse cast (in terms of both race and gender), which is something we’ve discussed recently with regard to the world of superhero movie casting. That said, it’s not as though the non-white and/or female actors who’ve been rumored for Episode VII are unknowns who are being considered solely to satisfy a certain demographic.

On the contrary, Abrams has been eying some very impressive acting talent for his film; that includes newly-set Fantastic Four reboot star Michael B. Jordan and David Oyelowo (The Butler) early on, followed by Nyong’o and John Boyega (Attack the Block) in more recent times, and possibly even Nyong’o’s 12 Years a Slave costar Chiwetel Ejiofor, at one point. Hard to complain about any of those people being cast in a Star Wars film.


Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on December 18th, 2015.

Source: Latino Review, THR

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. In hindsight it makes sense to wait for the oscars and the oscar nominations regarding the cast, but I feel like Star Wars had never bad actors for a problem. The Prequel Trilogy had fantastic actors, but the script was the problem.

    • Hayden Christensen a fantastic actor?????????????

      • The romance in the prequels was as emotional as two chairs stacked on top of each other, and Christensen’s acting did not help much.

        • The writing and directing were both to blame, as well as the fact that, as you say, the central romance composed of the two ostensible leads was where the casting itself broke down. Christensen is…not the best actor in the world, and Natalie Portman, as good as she can be (V for Vendetta, Black Swan), occasionally has trouble generating chemistry, i.e. Thor.

          But yeah, actors in general have never been the biggest problem for Star Wars.

          • I agree with the script comment, I do not agree that Christensen is a bad actor or was bad in the film. I actually really thought he did a great job as Anakin…everyone hates all over these films and him. But let me see any of you do a better job of portraying the most iconic villain of all time before he went dark side.

            Although I would say Matt Lanter did a better job portraying Christensen as Anakin than Christensen himself did.

        • Well put.

      • I would give you that, but you think a Daniel Day Louis would have made the romance plot more bearable, the lines Anakin had to say less cringe-worthy? The script was the main problem.

        Give the Sequel Trilogy a fantastic writing and it will survive another Hayden Christensen

      • he was great in Life As A House, so yes, I do consider Hayden to be a good actor.

      • stop hating.. he can act.. it was Lucas’s direction that was the cause.. have you heard of shattered glass…that will change your opinion on Christensen.

  2. Great star power, and I hope Lupita will get this role! She’s a sophisticated beauty.
    Anyway, a bit of wishful thinking… but I kinda think she would make a pretty awesome Ororo Monroe/Storm as well… oh well, I hope Marvel Studio heat seeker missile is targetting her as well to at least play someone from the royal family of Wakanda (or perhaps T’Challa’s love interest) ;D

  3. Great for her, she is very talented.

  4. It would be great if Lupita got a role, but these rumors are getting tiring. Perhaps I should just ignore all the speculation and just wait for actual confirmations.

    • Art, my best friend, I couldn’t agree with you more.

    • Yes, you should.

  5. Their is all these rumours flying about but if this is true its never bad to recruit talent and having just won an Oscar its fair to say she has talent.

    • I’m still hoping Abrams signs Jennifer Lawrence.

  6. ahhhhhhhhh, the spoils of winning an academy award, good for her foxy nyongo self.
    this is better then the dud casting of fantastic four,batman vs superman,etc.

    • So, you’re still butt-hurt over the great BvS casting then? Shame.

      Maybe you should do as that terrible song from Frozen says and let it go?

  7. Sounds awesome. I mean, who she or anyone else new might be playing is still a mystery, but I’m excited.

    Star Wars definitely should take this opportunity to incorporate more significant female characters.

  8. nice! getting a bit more excited for this thing now. :D

  9. Good for her. Hope the movie’ll be great. Yeah probably needs a different feel from episodes I, II and III. Don’t know what exactly it is but make it happen guys. A Star Wars movie that’ll feel right now without disrespecting the legend that was episodes IV through VI. May the Force be with all of us.

  10. I was just talking to some friends of mine about Lupita and how Hollywood might have a hard time casting Lupita in roles, despite her Oscar win, because the industry doesn’t really have a good track record for giving dark skinned women quality roles. BUT…I was telling my friend that Lupita could definitely do some science fiction stuff. She would be great. When I saw that picture of Taran Gillian as Nebula in GOTF, I told myself that Lupita definitely has the potential to play roles like that! I hope Abrams does cast her. I also think Chiwetel and/or David Oyelowo would be great casting choices as well. I liked Chiwetel as the villain in Joss Whedon’s “SERENITY” and I have definitely wanted to see David in more action roles. I’m on the fence about Michael B. Jordan just because he’s already Human Torch, but if he gets another sci-fi role. I’m down with that. Now if only Abrams could cast some up and coming Asian, Latino and/or Indian actors. then we’d really have some diversity. But I digress!

  11. Disney owns LucasFilm – so they haven’t exactly “Joined forces” on this.

  12. Im glad for her. Afro Mexican power.

  13. Cool.

    I don’t really know if I should be excited about any casting for a Star Wars movie without knowing the characters. You could argue that it’ll be nice to look forward to the talent in the film, but I can’t exactly geek out over this as I would over a superhero movie. I don’t know what to expect.

    And therefore I have nothing negative to say! I’m sure she’ll do great.

  14. R.I.P. Star Wars

    • You know nothing about the spirit of Star Wars, do you? Or George Lucas, for that matter, whether he’s involved or not.

  15. 12 Years a Jedi

  16. Regarding the Prequels, I couldn’t believe that Lucus thought he could wrap up the Clone Wars within three movies. For the storyline to be properly developed he probably needed more like nine or possibly even twelve especially for the development of Vader’s character. I think buildup and events surrounding Palpatine’s takeover of the senate should have been fleshed out better, something you could do if you had more movies and weren’t trying to cram all the plot within 3, nobody does just the 2 sequels anymore.

    • Jada SkyWalker I agree that the Clone Wars needed more screen time. But now, for those who want to go beyond the movies, there are numerous books, comics and animated episodes to tell of the events during the Clone Wars between the end of Episode II and the beginning of Episode III. I have enjoyed all of these incarnations.

      • I agree. You can just watch Clone Wars and the upcoming Rebels. Ahsoka Tano lives!!!

    • I think they should’ve started later in Anakin’s life and had flash backs to fill in the blanks. We already knew a lot of things that were fleshed out in Phantom Menace from the original trilogy. We didn’t need to see child Anakin, especially the way they portrayed him and the events surrounding him. If they started EP I just before Anakin and Padme marry, they could’ve gone into a lot of detail about those conflicts and what immediately drew Anakin to the dark side. However, it seems cheap because everything was kinda glossed over…

  17. As a result of being exposed to allot of expanded universe novels, comics, and video games, the events that follow ‘Return of the Jedi’ have already happened. I cannot go back to wipe out my experiences. Regardless about what they show in these movies, the events that followed ‘Return of the Jedi’ have already been established.

    I am going to treat these movies as ‘Disney’ movies; thus, I am not going to bother watching a kiddies movie. If the rumors have any weight, I no longer fit into their demographics.

    • I feel the same way! I will be extremely upset if they wipe out the days, weeks and months I’ve spent reading the great novel’s and comics that were written. I am not sure I would be able to watch the movies. I don’t care about casting as long as whoever they choose can act. However, they need to follow the canon.

  18. I understand Lucas was limited in realizing his vision for the Star Wars universe by the technology of the day when he made his original trilogy, hence we were subjected to those god awful Ewoks rather than Wookies & their home world as he originally intended for his final installment with Return Of The Jedi.
    That said, on several levels apart from just limited special effects & crappy Ewoks, RTOTJ was still the worst of the original 3 Star Wars movies. Performances at key points of the hastily unfolded plot were poorly acted. Bobba Fett’s indignant demise was definitely less than spectacular. I could go on & on, but in a nutshell, after seeing the horrendous hatchet job Disney did to The Lone Ranger, I almost dread to think what they might do to the Star Wars brand. I guess as long as they don’t feature Johnny Depp as a swashbuckling intergalactic smuggler/pirate/alien concocted version of someones imagination on acid they might do alright.
    Guess we’ll find out eventually.

    • Disney also owns Marvel. Those movies turned out okay, didn’t they? (although they’ll probably never do a dark or rated R Marvel movie any time soon) I expect they’ll follow the same formula with SW films: give JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy relative autonomy to put out the film that they want to make. The new animated show Rebels, looks like it’s for kids, but what do you expect, it’s on the Disney network. I wouldn’t put it past them that Disney may want to make a stand alone film for kids, perhaps featuring Jar Jar Binks and some Ewoks, but for the actual episodes 7-9, they’ll be dumb to mess with or “Disneyafy” those films just to money grab from parents/kids. I’m sure the execs realize that the SW brand sells itself, much like the Marvel brand.

  19. They need to follow the novels that came out after return of the jedi. The expanded universe is huge and the books were well written (for the most part). No need to remake the wheel. The books sustained the franchise for 20 years without movies or television shows. There is no need to screw things up even worse.

    • the novels really have nothing to do with the movies, and never have.
      lucas way before any novels were made. had a rough treatment as to what the last three movies would be about…they are working from that treatment. enjoy your books.

  20. Oh great… Another inclusion from minority liberal America. Thanks for putting a turd in my dessert bowl…

    • It must be great that you can get an internet connection from a shack in the woods.