Over the last week the Star Wars rumor mill focused on the unannounced but widely reported spinoff films tentatively planned to fill in the gaps between numbered Episodes in the main ongoing saga. Star Wars: Episode VII relaunches the franchise in late 2015, followed by at least two of these so-called unrelated-to-the-saga "origins" films based on the iconic characters Han Solo and bounty hunter Boba Fett.
While there's been quite a lot of speculation and reports regarding story ideas, directors and writers for these spinoffs, first and and most importantly, Lucasfilm and parent company Disney need to get Episode 7 off the ground. That means carefully crafting a story that works for fans, new and old, that honors the larger franchise and successfully pushes it into a new and exciting direction. Much of that will come down to casting.
The Wrap spoke with J.J. Abrams who commented on the absurd amount of unverifiable rumors and while many of them are fake, whether by unreliable sources or made up entirely for attention, the director (who with the help of Lawrence Kasdan rewrote the Episode VII script) did confirm one of the recently buzzed about names associated with the project: Jesse Plemons.
"He is one of the actors that we've talked to, yeah. But, you know. It’s not often that I read about actors that I'm going to be meeting … that I get to read articles about actors who are going to come in. And so I get to see someone and say, 'Oh, I read that I'm going to see you.' … It's usually agents talking to people about what’s happening. It's a lot of noise."
Plemons (Friday Night Lights), who earned a lot of attention for his role as Todd in the latter seasons of Breaking Bad, was rumored for a part in the next Star Wars that could see him having a key role in the entire next trilogy. He denied the rumors while appearing at the Screen Actors Guild Awards this weekend before Abrams flat out admitted he is going to be meeting with the young actor.
That doesn't mean Plemons has signed, just that he's currently of interest to Abrams. Some speculation puts him as a candidate to play the son of Luke Skywalker (Ben Skywalker in the extended universe). The bigger confirmation however, is that the script for Star Wars 7 is complete after undergoing extensive rewrites - a bit of a contentious issue on the Screen Rant Underground Podcast since reports claim that Michael Arndt's (Toy Story 3) story was totally rewritten by Abrams and Kasdan in part to make the original 'big three' of Princess Leia, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker the leads in Episode VII as a sendoff for the characters, letting the new characters pick up the torch going forward in Episodes 8, 9 and beyond.
Abrams touched on the rumors surrounding casting for his Star Wars film, saying it as it is so to speak, in regards to the frequency of them and the inaccuracies.
"There've been so many of them. It's amazing to see how many there are… But it's sweet because it shows that there's an interest in this movie that we all obviously know is there. But it is an incredible thing to see how many crazy things get thrown out that people often then write commentaries about. How happy they are, how disappointed they are about something that is completely false. It's a lot of noise, frankly."
The good news is that with production on Star Wars: Episode VII beginning in the coming months in London, there will be loads of official casting confirmations soon, putting at least some of the sets of rumors to rest. The bad news is that we're still dealing with the issues of misinformation and rumors when it comes to all of the upcoming superhero films from DC Entertainment and Marvel Studios that are stealing as many headlines than Star Wars. At least it's all mostly fun to talk about.
Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters December 18, 2015.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
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