'Star Wars: Episode VII' Casting Rumors: Is One of These Five Men the Newest Jedi?

'Star Wars: Episode VII' Casting Rumors: Is One of These Five Men the Newest Jedi?

Mar 13, 2014

Jesse PlemonsThe list of actors who could be Adam Driver’s opponent in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII is apparently getting shorter according to a new story at Variety. According to the site, five men have emerged as potential front-runners to play the lead in the highly anticipated new film.

The list of actors Disney is supposedly most interested in hiring features Downton Abbey’s Ed Speleers, everyone’s favorite creepy boy-next-door-slash-neo-Nazi-from-Breaking Bad Jesse Plemons, Attack the Block star John Boyega, and theater actors Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher.

Before getting too upset about these options, keep in mind that some people close to the project report that the search is continuing – and these five names are just actors who’ve made it to the top of Disney’s wish list. We'd be down with Speleers, Boyega or Plemons in the role. Boyega is more of an unknown to mainstream audiences, but his work in Attack the Block, where he plays a British hooligan who leads his friends in fighting off an alien invasion, proves he can act.

Plemons and Speleer look sort of alike, leading us to wonder if Abrams has a “type” he envisions for the lead Jedi apprentice in the new trilogy. Plemons wowed audiences in the latter seasons of AMC’s Breaking Bad, but can he shed his newfound, disturbing bad-guy image and convince audiences he’s a paragon of virtue as a Jedi? We say yes.

Matthew James Thomas is a bit of a wild card, having only appeared in films like Billy Elliot and About a Boy, but he was also part of Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark – where he played the lead role after Reeve Carney left.

While plot details are being guarded like Smaug’s treasure, the current theory is that the lead in the film will be a Jedi apprentice, presumably studying under Luke Skywalker. Abrams has said he wants an ethnically diverse cast on numerous occasions, which would seemingly give Boyega and Ray Fisher a legitimate shot at landing the gig.

The idea appears to be to cast a lesser known actor in the lead role, then place more well known actors and actresses around him. Aside from the returning original cast, other big names like Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman have also been approached about appearing in the film.

With shooting scheduled to get underway later this year, we should be able to officially lock in a cast sooner rather than later. What do you think about these potential leading men? 

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