In a very short amount of time we’ve learned a good deal more about Gareth Edwards’ standalone Star Wars film. The biggest news was its title – Star Wars: Rogue One – its December 2016 release date, and that it would star Felicity Jones (though in an as-yet undisclosed role).
From there, we had a few vague descriptions of concept art shown during a Disney shareholders meeting which depicted an armored, tactical team, and had one observer comparing it to Microsoft’s HALO. This new information didn’t necessarily conflict with earlier rumors of the film centering on a plan to steal the Death Star plans by some combination of Rebel and mercenary forces, but it didn’t really confirm them either.
Now we have what could be another piece of the Rogue One puzzle. According to Deadline, actor Ben Mendelsohn is a strong contender to star alongside Jones (again, in an unspecified role). Mendelsohn can currently be seen in Netflix’s Bloodline, for which his role has earned him rave reviews. He’s also appeared in several feature films, including Exodus: Gods and Kings and The Dark Knight Rises.
As to what the role is that Mendelsohn is being considered for? Well, that really depends on just what Star Wars: Rogue One is about. For instance, beyond that earlier rumor of a heist involving the Death Star plans, the film’s recently announced title suggests something related to Rogue Squadron – an elite team of X-Wing pilots who take on the Rebellion’s most difficult missions.
If that’s the case, then perhaps the role Mendelsohn is circling is something of a mentoring superior officer to Jones’ character, or a gruff veteran to her scrappy up-and-comer, OR simply a fellow pilot in the Rebellion’s top squadron. At this point, with how little we know about Star Wars: Rogue One, this role could be almost anything.
Though perhaps we can look at Mendelsohn’s name being in the mix as a clue. Mendelsohn has a reputation for playing criminal or in some way villainous roles, and even on Bloodline his role is that of outcast, the black sheep of the family. This could imply that the role he’s being considered for in Star Wars: Rogue One wouldn’t be that of a co-lead to Jones, but rather an antagonist for her character.
What do you make of this latest casting rumor? Does Disney/Lucasfilm’s interest in Ben Mendelsohn hint at what sort of character the role could be? Sound off in the comments below!
Star Wars: Rogue One releases in theaters December 16, 2016.