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.
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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