‘Star Wars Episode VIII’ Targeting Three Actresses for New Female Lead

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Disney is moving full steam ahead with Star Wars Episode VIII, which is expected to begin production early next year for a May 26th, 2017 release. Benicio del Toro is nearing a deal to play the main villain in the sequel, which will be written and directed by Rian Johnson. And now, we know the top three contenders for the new female lead.

According to The Wrap, actresses Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) and Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) are at the  top of Disney, Lucasfilm and Johnson’s shortlist for an unnamed role in Star Wars Episode VIII. According to the site, it is possible that more names will be auditioned, and these three – among others – are expected to read with star John Boyega by the end of the month.

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Rodriguez won a Golden Globe for her acclaimed performance in The CW’s Jane the Virgin earlier this year, and she is becoming a rising star in the film industry. Meanwhile, Maslany was actually a contender for the lead role in next year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While that part eventually went to Felicity Jones, it looks like Disney/Lucasfilm is still interested in Maslany.

Stay tuned for more news as we have it.

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