News, rumors and speculations regarding Star Wars: Episode VII has been coming in thick and fast over the past few weeks as the time until the start of filming closes in, but despite countless suggestions of actors who might be involved there is still very little in the way of concrete information regarding who the stars of this next chapter will be.
Saiorse Ronan has confirmed that she's auditioned for a part where she had to wield a lightsaber, Chiwetel Ejiofor was recently rumored to be in the running and Benedict Cumberbatch's name has popped up again and again. The latest information, however, suggests that the new heroes of Star Wars may be people we've never even heard of.
Casting agent Claire Curry has posted a list of dates and times for a nationwide open casting call seeking young people to star in a new Disney movie. Casting will take place throughout November at six different locations throughout the UK and Ireland and those who take part will be auditioning for one of two roles: "Thomas," a youth who doesn't know how to be a man because he grew up without a father's influence, and who sounds like a bit of a joker; or "Rachel," a street-smart teenage orphan who hopes for a better life.
The casting call does not name which movie the casting call is for, which is more or less to be expected, and it's safe to assume that both of the characters' names are just temporary pseudonyms. However, Bleeding Cool claims to have received confirmation, "after a full twenty-four hour investigation," that this casting call definitely is for the new Star Wars movie and that "Thomas" and "Rachel" are both lead roles. This tallies with what we've heard before about Star Wars Episode VII's plot being focused on a new generation of young Jedis and fighters, while the older cast members play more of a background role.
It might seem odd to have such a major movie seek leads through open casting, rather than simply going for one of the many celebrities that are already rumored to have auditioned, but if there's one franchise that doesn't necessarily need an all-star cast to get people in theaters then Star Wars is it. The nationwide scope of this casting call and the location of it (how many major Disney films are going to be shot in Britain over the next year or so?) all point to Star Wars Episode VII - as does the timing of it, since the movie is scheduled to start filming in January.
We'll keep a small question mark next to it for now, since the connection between this casting call and Star Wars Episode VII hasn't been confirmed through official channels (and likely never will be), but Bleeding Cool's confirmation combined with the fact that all the pieces seem to fit make it a pretty sure bet that "Thomas" and "Rachel" are new Star Wars heroes.
Star Wars Episode VII is currently estimated to release in late 2015.
Source: Claire Curry (via Bleeding Cool)