Long before Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, and the rest of the cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens helped usher in the new era of the galaxy far, far away on film, the Internet was aflutter with a bevy of rumors about which actors would be lending their talents to the highly-anticipated project. It seemed that at one point or another, every rising star and big name talent was said to be in consideration for one of the coveted parts, including fan-favorite thespian Michael Fassbender. The Oscar nominee is no stranger to tentpole fare thanks to his turns as Magneto in the new X-Men films, and someone of his skill set would have been a great addition to the Star Wars universe.
Of course, Fassbender did not appear in Episode VII, leaving the door open for a possible appearance in a future film down the road. Until that does happen, viewers who would love to see Fassbender bring a Star Wars character to life will find it unfortunate that he had discussions with director J.J. Abrams about The Force Awakens, but he didn't have time in his ever-busy schedule to make a commitment.
While on the Happy Sad Confused Podcast (hat tip EW), Fassbender briefly touched on his flirtation with Star Wars and why he had to turn away:
“We talked about a role. We had a conversation. I’m pretty sure I was busy doing something else in the summer he was kickstarting that.”
With this revelation, moviegoers will now try to figure out which role Fassbender was up for. Given his history, it's safe to assume he was in the running for one of the villain parts - perhaps that of General Hux (played by Domhnall Gleeson). However, Fassbender is a tremendous actor with wide range, so he easily could have portrayed a heroic figure like pilot Poe Dameron as well. Many of the Force Awakens actors have already become synonymous with their characters, so it's difficult to see anyone else in the film; but there's no denying Fassbender would have given a captivating performance that went down in Star Wars legend - regardless of the role he landed.
If anything, this does show that Fassbender is (understandably) on Disney's radar when it comes to casting Star Wars movies, so it will be interesting to see if he's considered for another project coming through the pipeline. Now that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a hit, Lucasfilm has the freedom to play around with the anthology concept and make more spinoffs. These have an advantage over the saga installments due to their status as (largely) one-offs, and that might be more appealing than signing a multi-picture deal for an in-demand name like Fassbender. Hopefully he finds the time to use the Force one day and become part of another legendary franchise.
Source: Happy Sad Confused Podcast (via EW)
- Star Wars: Rogue One / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) release date: Dec 16, 2016
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018