Over the weekend, THR published a report that covered a couple of major items coming out of the production for Star Wars: Episode VII. Sources for the Heat Vision blog are saying that, aside from TV stars like Breaking Bad's Jesse Plemons and Adam Driver (Girls), director J.J. Abrams is also looking at big names like Michael Fassbender and Hugo Weaving.
While not much is known about the specifics of any of the characters involved, here's the buzz around what's happening with each actor:
- Jesse Plemons's role could be significant as it may span the entire new trilogy. Personally, I see him playing a son of one of the original characters who eventually turns to the Dark Side.
- Adam Driver? There's nothing on him. Though maybe they'll want to capitalize on his real-life military background and make him a militant leader of some kind? One of LR's sources inside the production, though, tells us he's no longer in the running.
- Michael Fassbender may be up for the role I reported back in November- a military man in his 40s, with a description along the lines of Matt Damon in Elysium.
- Hugo Weaving is said to be up for the role of an Imperial Commander. Boy, oh boy. He continues to be the Chosen One for villain roles in big, geek properties. Is this man set forever, or what? Matrix, LoTR, Marvel, and now possibly Star Wars money for the rest of his life? Can I have a grant?
There's also word on what exactly went on behind-the-scenes that saw Michael Arndt depart the production. His script was said to focus on the offspring of the original trilogy's core characters- Luke, Leia, and Han. In his version, the kids would've been the leads and the parents, played by returning Star Wars vets Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, & Harrison Ford, would've been supporting players. It looks like Abrams doesn't want the focus to be so abruptly shifted. Considering the three Episodes that lead to this new one are all about their saga, Abrams wants this film to be about them but then transfer the focus to the kids in Episodes VIII and IX.
Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan are said to be working on a script that does just that. The first film of the new trilogy will catch us up with what's gone on in the lives of Luke, Leia, and Han, introduce the kids, and set up the greater arc for the films to come- not unlike how A New Hope was a setup for the original trilogy to travel to greater heights.
Many fans have cried foul over this approach, but I think it's an intriguing way to go. It's more of a "long game" approach. Rather than rush right into new characters, new actors, and a new plot, it'll give us some perspective on how life has changed in that galaxy far, far away in the years since the rebellion toppled the empire. I didn't read this report and instantly start picturing out-of-shape senior citizens running around with lightsabers. I think what's going to happen is that the perspective of the story will change. As we re-enter that world, we'll look through the eyes of the characters we all ready know and love, and then as that first film comes to a close, and we've learned what kind of people the little Skywalkers and the little Solos are, the perspective will shift.
It's a way to start things off in a more familiar, endearing way, and welcoming us back rather than just launching us into the unknown. My only concern is Abrams possibly falling too much into the nostalgia, as he did in Star Trek Into Darkness. If he can properly navigate that fine line, I think this approach will be great.
I'll leave you with one final whisper: Rumor has it there'll be a new Kenobi in the film. It would appear Obi-Wan may have fathered a child before he ended up a pile of clothes on the floor. The production is seeking a multi-racial girl in her twenties to play his granddaughter, allegedly.