Fans of Star Wars are holding their collective breath for the expected (at this point, hoped for) announcement regarding the story, characters, or cast of Star Wars: Episode VII come May 4th. After previous rumors had claimed that both Ryan Gosling and Zac Efron had met with producers regarding a role, Efron has once again hinted that his involvement in the film could be much farther along than a simple audition.
Obviously, any and all news concerning Star Wars: Episode VII should be taken with a grain of salt, since just about every young star in Hollywood has had his (or her) name mentioned as one of the potential leads in J.J. Abrams' beginning to a new Star Wars trilogy. It would seem that Abrams and his producers would need to get their cast in place, considering that Han and Luke are already arriving in London, presumably to reprise their roles in the coming weeks.
While making the rounds for his upcoming film Neighbors, Efron was asked in an interview with 5News if he would continue his rise from teen heart-throb to blockbuster star with a role in a galaxy far, far away. Although he had admitted to meetings in the past, Efron's attempt to brush off the question is telling:
"I don't know. I have no idea on that. There's irons in the fire, so to speak. I don't like to talk about anything too early because, you know, it takes a while to get these things done right. Who knows?"
In an age where blockbuster stars often outright lie about having a role in an anticipated film, Efron's decision to offer more details is compelling. Since his earlier admission that he, like several other young actors, has met with Abrams about a role in Episode VII was followed by no official news, it was assumed that the film would go on without him. However, his comments imply that the situation is not yet settled. Besides leaving the door open for him to land a role, could this also imply that Abrams and co. haven't ruled out any of the other frontrunners either?
Only time will tell, but for now, the only real certainty about Episode VII is that it will be set thirty years after Return of the Jedi. Fans of Star Wars' extended universe know that the prime candidates for a film trilogy set that far into the future would be none other than the children of Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo, and those of Luke Skywalker. But with the filmmakers stating they won't be limited by the older "Expanded Universe" novels, all bets are off.
If we were to wager a guess, it seems most likely that Zac Efron would be in the running for a role as the son of Han and Leia, if he is indeed up for a starring role. Aside from the fact that Efron's resume of both comedy and drama resonate nicely with both Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher's roles, audiences wouldn't hesitate in buying him as their son.
Where does that leave Friday Night Lights alum Jesse Plemons? For all we know, Plemons could be set to star as the (a?) son of Skywalker alongside the Solo children - assuming his being cast in Black Mass hasn't forced him to withdraw, that is. Again, so little is known of the actual plot, or how much the film will stray from the novels, it's next to impossible to make an educated guess. But according to Efron, his entry into the Star Wars universe may still be possible.
What do you think of Efron's comments? Do you see him landing a role as a good thing, or a bad one? Be sure to leave your own casting choices or hopes in the comments.
Star Wars: Episode VII opens in U.S. theaters on December 18th, 2015.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
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