‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Female Lead Shortlist Includes Gina Rodriguez, Tatiana Maslany and Olivia Cooke

     September 1, 2015

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Looks like casting is really ramping up on Star Wars: Episode VIII. We know that Benicio Del Toro is in talks to join the film, presumably to play the villain, and now we’ve got The Wrap reporting that director Rian Johnson has a shortlist for the female lead, which includes Gina RodriguezTatiana Maslany and Olivia Cooke.

Some of the outlet’s sources note that Johnson is in the early stages of the casting process and is still auditioning additional actresses for this role, but others claim that he’s going to have Rodriguez, Maslany and Cooke do chemistry reads with The Force Awakens‘ John Boyega this month.

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Image via BBC America

Of course this is all just a rumor until Disney and Lucasfilm confirm the news – which probably won’t happen until they officially lock a lead – but if Johnson really has narrowed it down to these three, he can’t go wrong. Rodriguez recently snagged a Golden Globe for her performance on Jane the Virgin, Maslany has been showered in praise for her work on Orphan Black, and Cooke lead the critically acclaimed Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. However, in a fantasy world where I get to pick the winner, I’d go with Maslany, hands down. Have you seen Orphan Black? I’m convinced she’s capable of just about anything.


That’s all we’ve got on Episode VIII casting for now, but there has been some talk of Kylo Ren serving as the primary villain for the whole trilogy so there’s certainly a chance Adam Driver could wind up on the roster as well. Then of course if Rodriguez, Maslany and Cooke really are reading with Boyega, that means Finn is back and then the same could be true of Daisy Ridley‘s Rey and Oscar Isaac‘s Poe Dameron as well.

Star Wars: Episode VIII is slated for release on May 26, 2017. For more on the film, browse the links below:

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Image via LucasFilm


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