Rumor: Chewitel Ejiofor Might Be in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII; J.J. Abrams Wants to Take Franchise Back to Grittier Roots

     November 4, 2013

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The desperation for Star Wars: Episode VII casting news continues even though it’s kind of pointless.  I tell you Actor X is in the movie, and what does that really mean?  When that news finally comes, I seriously doubt it will come with any character details or even a name.  At most, this speculation adds up to wanting talented actors whose name might be a draw but not too expensive such as Benedict Cumberbatch or Saoirse Ronan or the latest actor to possibly be connected to the project, Chiwetel Ejiofor.  The 12 Years a Slave star is the current favorite to win the Oscar for Best Actor, and he was recently spotted in Bad Robot’s lobby.  Yes, casting news based on physical proximity.

Hit the jump for more including how J.J. Abrams agrees with the “Four Rules” about Star Wars.

12-years-a-slave-chiwetel-ejiofor-2All we know about Ejiofor’s connection to Star Wars: Episode VII is that he was at Bad Robot, and when Abrams was asked about it by The Times [via The Telegraph], the direct cryptically responded, “I can’t discuss casting…but [Ejiofor] is a very talented gentleman.”  And when Ejiofor was asked on the red carpet about if he would be in Star Wars: Episode VII if Abrams made the offer, the actor coyly replied, “Well, we’ll see if it happens, I’m not going to tell you.”  Clearly, this is a done deal.  Here’s the footage from the red carpet interview [via Flicks and the City].  I think his facial expression says it all:

Yes, there’s reason to celebrate the movie wanting to hire good actors.  Then again, the prequel trilogy hired Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, Christopher Lee, and Samuel L. Jackson.  They’re not slouches, but they couldn’t salvage a bad script.  I want Ejiofor to be in big movies, but I wanted that before 12 Years a Slave.  Whether he wins an Oscar or not, the door is now open to those bigger projects.  If it’s in Star Wars: Episode VII, then I hope it’s a good script.

star-trek-into-darkness-jj-abrams-set-photo-1That script is highly in question at the moment.  As we reported a couple weeks ago, Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan have taken over writing duties from screenwriter Michael Arndt, but Disney is still bent on a 2015 release date despite producer Kathleen Kennedy pushing for 2016.  That’s going to make for a rushed production, but Abrams apparently knows the tone he wants to take.  He told the Times that he agrees with the fan video about how Star Wars is supposed to be gritty and dirty [I agree with Brad Pilcher’s editorial dismantling these four rules], but unsurprisingly, the director has primarily latched on to the mysterious nature of the original trilogy:

“I loved how Star Wars had that sense of a world far beyond the borders of what you can see and have been told – it’s one of the things it did so brilliantly.

“If you watch the first movie, you don’t actually know exactly what the Empire is trying to do. They’re going to rule by fear – but you don’t know what their end game is.

“The beauty of that movie was that it was an unfamiliar world, and yet you wanted to see it expand and to see where it went.”

I want to see that expansion as well.  I want to see good casting.  But wanting is all we really have right now.  It’s 2013.  The movie is far, far away.  Let’s put patience before desire.

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