Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Has anybody not been “in talks” to appear in Star Wars VII?

Now, it’s Lupita Nyong’o. What about Saoirse Ronan? Zac Efron anybody? The bloke who mended your fridge?

Mon, Mar 17, 2014, 19:46


This is getting utterly ridiculous. If you are reading this then — we assume — you are alive and reasonably conscious. There is, therefore, every chance that you have been “in talks” with J J Abrams to appear in Star Wars. After all, everybody else on your street has, apparently, been called in for an audition. The latest rumour plays out according to the expected rhythms. Every media outlet, small or large, (now including this one) has decided to report that Lupita Nyong’o is “in talks” to appear in episode VII of the space epic. It sounds plausible enough. Even before Lupita won her Oscar, she had been identified as the year’s most unstoppable rising star. I’m sure that J J would be glad to have her. It’s just that there seems to be an awfully long queue.

Where do we begin? Somebody called Jesse Plemons from Breaking Bad has, apparently, been chatting to J J about the project. Adam Driver from Girls is in talks to play some sort of villain. Both Zac Efron and Tom Hiddleston have been placed in the frame. Late last year there was a rumour that Saoirse Ronan had auditioned, then, later, a story emerged that, having owned up to the meeting, she might have ruined her chances. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ms Nyong’o's costar from 12 Years a Slave, has also been placed in the frame. Why has nobody mentioned Benedict Cumberbatch? Don’t worry. They have.

You can play this game yourself. Just type “Star Wars casting” into Google and you will find a story concerning virtually every actor who has ever stood before a camera. This sort of nonsense did go on in the golden age. Recall the carefully choreographed hunt for Scarlet O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. But (though they won’t mind that much) the studios have now totally lost control of the rumour mill. Essentially any supposition you wish to make can, within minutes, be turned into something a little like a rumour. In short, we know nothing so far.

“Oh that’s not true,” we hear you say. We do, at least, know that Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill (pictured above) are returning. Actually we “know” no such thing. Surprisingly, even those actors have yet to be confirmed. After all, Mr Hamill may not be able to fit the shoot into his busy schedule. All right. That was unnecessary.

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