Ant-Man and the Wasp star Evangeline Lilly reveals that she tried to get cast in a role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In the years between The Force Awakens' announcement and the movie's first table read, fans knew very little about what the story was going to be about. This shroud of secrecy extended to the characters as well, new and returning alike.
When Disney and Lucasfilm were in casting mode for The Force Awakens, there were no shortage of rumors about actors who had met for various roles that weren't revealed at the time. It wasn't until the table read in 2014, before production started, that it was confirmed a number of iconic Star Wars characters were returning, such as Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), along with a slew of new characters. But long before that table read, and long before fans knew for sure which characters would be in the movie, Lilly tried to use her connection to J.J. Abrams to secure a role that, unknown to her or anyone else at the time, was not available.
Lilly revealed during an appearance at Fan Expo Boston over the weekend (courtesy of YouTube user David Anthos), that once it was announced Abrams was directing Episode VII, she reached out to Abrams' producing partner who she met while filming Lost. While she didn't reveal who the producing partner was, it's likely that it was Bryan Burk, who produced both Lost and The Force Awakens. Lilly revealed that she had "never requested anything ever before," but she had one request for Abrams and his team on The Force Awakens: "I wanna be Leia! Make me Leia!"
Lilly was then informed that Fisher was in fact returning to reprise her role as Leia Organa, thus ending her campaign for the role. Still, things worked out pretty well for Lilly since she would go on to land the role of Hope van Dyne in 2015's Ant-Man, which she reprised in this summer's sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp. This news comes on the heels of Disney confirming that they will use previously unused footage of Leia from The Force Awakens for Star Wars: Episode IX and Lilly revealing that she was pressured into performing a partially-nude scene on Lost, which lead to the series' producers apologizing to the actress.
As is always the cast on any Star Wars movie, very little is known about the plot for Star Wars: Episode IX, which brings Abrams back to the helm, working from a script he co-wrote with Chris Terrio. While it may still be controversial to consider Disney and Lucasfilm recasting Leia, certainly not for Episode IX, but perhaps for a stand-alone project, Lilly could very well be a top contender to embody this iconic character at some point in the future. But, for now, fans must wait until next December to see how Abrams and Terrio send off the beloved Leia in Star Wars: Episode IX.