‘Attack the Block’ Star John Boyega on the Shortlist for ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

By March 12, 2014

Another day, another Star Wars shortlist to talk about. You all know I’m not crazy about writing about every single tiny detail that leaks out of these giant potential blockbusters, but the latest announcement from Variety has me very excited about the possibilities for J.J. Abrams’ upcoming space adventure. According to the outlet, Attack the Block star John Boyega is in contention for the lead role, thought to be that of a Jedi apprentice.

This is the part where I once again urge you to seek out Attack the Block if you haven’t seen it yet. Joe Cornish’s alien invasion film feels very much like a throwback to the Amblin movies of the ’80s, and Boyega takes command of the screen (and the gang his character leads) while imbuing his street tough character with some serious heart and heartbreak. He was recently cast in the upcoming “24: Live Another Day” event series, and I was hoping that his appearance would open Hollywood’s eyes to his potential and someone would give him an opportunity to star in a huge film so the world can see how talented he is.

Attack the Block Moses running

Looks like Abrams saw Attack the Block and didn’t need to wait for “24” to know about Boyega, because the young actor has jumped to the top of the most recent shortlist of actors up for the lead in Star Wars: Episode VII. Alongside him at the top of that list are the previously-rumored Jesse Plemons, “Downton Abbey” actor Ed Speleers, and theater actors Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher. Variety’s sources tell them that part of the delay in production has been because the producers want to diversify the cast outside of the Caucasian leads of previous films. Boyega and Ray Fisher certainly fit the bill as non-white guys, especially when the extremely white Adam Driver has reportedly been cast as the film’s villain. But if Boyega is the one who ends up being chosen, he wouldn’t just be some random “diversity hire” – I’m tellin’ you, the dude’s got skills.

What do you think? Who would you like to see starring in Star Wars: Episode VII?

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.
  • Ryan

    Sweet! Attack the Block was great and John Boyega was the best part. I’d be great to see him in Star Wars.

  • Andrew L Gonzalez

    Mace Windu was one of the greatest Jedi to sit on the Council alongside Yoda. I can completely see adding some diversity to the mix. I can’t believe the entire universe was caucasian.

  • Richard R Moore

    Go for it! I think this type of forward thinking will serve Abrams well. I would also like to see some of the old cast members return.

  • Kristin T Medina

    I applaud the folks at Disney for promoting diversity in their film making. This shows just how imaginative they really can be. Bring back Billy Dee Williams as the coup de gras

  • Timothy W Williams

    Nice choice. It will be nice to see Disney make a move like this one. I can’t wait!!!!