LucasFilm Eyeing Benicio del Toro to Play Star Wars: Episode VIII's Lead Villain

Tuesday, 21 July 2015 - 9:35AM
Star Wars
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Tuesday, 21 July 2015 - 9:35AM
LucasFilm Eyeing Benicio del Toro to Play Star Wars: Episode VIII's Lead Villain
Despite the fact that Star Wars: The Force Awakens hasn't hit theaters yet, LucasFilm are already busy planning the second installment into their latest Star Wars trilogy. Star Wars: Episode VIII isn't released until 2017, and while many of The Force Awakens' stars will be returning for a second outing, it's being reported that casting for new characters is already taking place. According to The Wrap, director Rian Johnson and his team are hoping to seal a deal to secure the services of Benicio del Toro to play the movie's lead villain. 

While Disney have failed to respond to requests for further information, the report states that "multiple sources familiar with the casting process" have suggested that Disney and LucasFilm have offered del Toro the role. As The Wrap points out, del Toro is already embedded in the Disney family, having appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy (and a cameo in Thor: Dark World) as 'The Collector', although whether or not that character will return to the franchise is yet to be confirmed. 

With JJ Abrams keeping the plot of Star Wars: The Force Awakens a close-kept secret, it's unclear what the prospect of a new villain's appearance in Episode VIII means for the franchise. While many will be suggesting that this means Kylo Ren could go the way of Darth Maul and only appear in one movie, Adam Driver is widely thought to have signed a multi-movie deal with Disney, which would suggest that the man with the crossguard lightsaber still has a wider role to play in this new trilogy.

With a May 27th 2017 release date confirmed, it's expected that Star Wars: Episode VIII will move into production some time early next year. Before that though, Star Wars fans still have The Force Awakens and Gareth Edwards' first Star Wars: Anthology movie, Rogue One.
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