It’s been a crazy year in the world of Star Wars news, fully of confusing rumors and wild speculation about the next live-action movie installment, Episode VII. However, director J.J. Abrams is now officially pressing ahead in order to make a December 2015 release date, which means that there will be formal Episode VII casting announcements coming over the next 4-5 months (before principal photography on the film starts in the UK in Spring 2014).
Just before Disney announced the December launch date for Episode VII, an open casting call for a Disney tentpole – presumed to be Abrams’ Star Wars movie – was leaked online. In addition to vague character descriptions, the casting notice includes the various times and places in Bristol where people would be able to audition for potential leading roles in the film. As you might expect, thousands of young men and women turned out this past weekend; which,in turn, gave rise to a difficult and altogether inefficient (read: messy) casting process.
Of course, there will be additional Episode VII open casting auditions in Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin and London over the forthcoming weeks. However, in an effort to make the processes less chaotic on those occasions, Lucasfilm has announced that prospective cast members can also send in their personal video applications through the Cast It Talent’s website. (For those who are interested, click on that link and it will take you to a page that includes further instructions.)
As a refresher, here are the two potential Episode VII roles, per the official descriptions:
RACHEL – Was quite young when she lost her parents. With no other family, she was forced to maker her way alone in a tough, dangerous town. Now 17 she has become street smart and strong. She is able to take care of herself using humor and guts to get by. Always a survivor, never a victim, she remains hopeful that she can move away from this harsh existence to a better life. She is always thinking of what she can do to move ahead.
THOMAS – Has grown up without a father’s influence. Without the model of being a man, he doesn’t have the strongest sense of himself. Despite this, he is smart, capable and shows courage when it is needed. He can appreciate the absurdities in life and understands you can’t take life too seriously.
Chances are, both the names and certain elements of these character descriptions have been changed, with respect to the roles that will be featured in Episode VII (Abrams used similar misleading tactics before while casting Super 8). However, assuming that these auditions are for the young male and female lead roles described in a previously-leaked Episode VII cast list, the important thing is that whoever lands each role must be have both the screen presence (read: exude intelligence and/or independence) and desired physical appearance (read: be attractive) that Disney/Lucasfilm want, in order to carry the Star Wars torch forward hereon out.
That much is true of celebrities who’ve confirmed that they auditioned for a role in Episode VII – a short list thus far, which includes Saoirse Ronan (The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station). In addition, the various other stars who’ve been rumored for a role fit the aforementioned bill, be it Sherlock/Star Trek Into Darkness fan-favorite lead Benedict Cumberbatch or Serenity antagonist Chiwetel Ejiofor (a pair who share the screen in 12 Years a Slave, now playing in theaters).
Again, those who’re interested in making a video audition for Episode VII should go to the Cast It Talent’s website; there, they will receive further instructions, with regard to how they can throw their hat in the ring for a role in Abrams’ Star Wars movie.
Star Wars: Episode VII opens in U.S. theaters on December 18th, 2015.
Header Image Artwork by En-Taiho @deviantART