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

by     Posted 1 year, 47 days ago

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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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  • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

    Awesome casting news! Big fan of his ever since I saw Redbelt. Would love to see him tackle Green Lantern if they take the John Stewart route.

    • eddie

      that casting never crossed my mind, ive always really wanted idris elba for john stewart

    • MCP

      Definitely agree. He was great in Redbelt and I’ve been waiting him to get into something big since his roles in Serenity and Children of Men. He was very bad ass in Serenity, so to Jedi or not…?

    • MCP

      Definitely agree. He was great in Redbelt and I’ve been waiting him to get into something big since his roles in Serenity and Children of Men. He was very bad ass in Serenity, so to Jedi or not…?

  • Hari

    Mr. Goldberg have you reached out to Disney about re-writing it personally? I know I for one would trust your expertise over some amateur hacks like JJ Abrams, Michael Arndt, and Lawrence Kasdan?

  • axalon

    These casting rumors are starting to become exhausting

    • MITIOR

      This is all part of the fun, I f you’re old enough this happened with the prequels as well. Enjoy the journey because its over before you know it.

  • MrBurrrns

    Insert Serenity comparison here.

  • Sweet Pea

    Well going off JJ’s track record it can’t turn out that bad.. He already saved one franchise from oblivion (Star Trek), I’m confident he’ll also deliver the goods on this too.. Not sure about this chap tho, feels a bit like they’re jumping on the bandwagon, he wont be convincing.

    • MIXTER

      I agree, Star Trek films, I find are better in the memory than watching them. They are boring to the non-Trekky. JJ made Trek enjoyable to me, sure not prefect. But mostly because it was recast, and I miss the feel of the older films especially the music. But he saved Trek from a fate worse than death. I get why Trekkies may have a grudge, it is not the same. But thats a relief to some of us.

      • Dmula

        Very true I liked a few of the older Star Trek stuff but for the most part it was boring and Abrams did a great job in my opinion.Im hoping he does the same for Star Wars and whats better is that hes not recycling ideas from before everything will be new and original.I think the key to making Star Wars great is having big sets and less CGI.

      • Nashene

        JJ made star trek into abysmal, shiny, near blindness, embarrassing bad acted movies. They are nothing like Star Trek, so that is why you pathetically liked them, they ARE NOT STAR TREK. So you are not a star trek fan, because you want to pathetically waste time and watch the jj abrams remake star trek crap, that are not star trek at all. His pathetic attempt at star wars is going to be bey9ond embarrassing, it won’t resemble star wars. It will be LOST in space. Get it? It will be his LOST in space, a play on the LOST IN SPACE 1960′s series and 1998 movie. I knew you would not get it, JJ’s fans are so stupid, just like jj’s stupid films and shows.

      • Sweet Pea

        You use the word pathetic alot, it makes me laugh. I like you.

    • MIXTER

      I agree, Star Trek films, I find are better in the memory than watching them. They are boring to the non-Trekky. JJ made Trek enjoyable to me, sure not prefect. But mostly because it was recast, and I miss the feel of the older films especially the music. But he saved Trek from a fate worse than death. I get why Trekkies may have a grudge, it is not the same. But thats a relief to some of us.

    • shackle

      JJ ruined star trek with his remakes you dumbass. No confidence on him working on star wars, he will ruin star wars too.

      Paramount did not advertise Star Trek – Nemesis (the last official Star Trek movie) well and released it during Harry Potter 2, Lord Of The Rings 2, a J Lo Movie a Eminem movie, and James Bond 20 – Die Another Day. So again, Paramount released it at a terrible time.

      Star Trek – Enterprise was not advertised well either. The 4th season was making the series better and better.

      Star Wars ended on a high note, with Episode 3, so Star Wars does not need saving, especially when it ended.

      The Clone Wars is an excellent series and was only cancelled because Disney are hacks like jj the hack abrams.

      • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

        Did you watch Star Trek: Nemesis? All of the advertising in the world could not save that movie. It was terrible just as every other Star Trek film was. A 50% ratio of quality films in a series of 10 is still a failing grade.
        If you are comparing Star Wars ending on a high note then you must be comparing Ep III to the other dreadful two. Getting a C does not merrit a “high note” as it means that it was a passable film but does not hold weight when compared to the originals.
        I was never passionate about Star Trek and thought they were entertaining when watching them. Apparently I’m in the minority here but I loved the new films that came out and thought they did a great job of bringing in new fans of the series outside of the die hard fan boys that do not carry enough weight in terms of box office profits.
        I am however a passionate fan of Star Wars and know JJ will do fine handling the new Star Wars franchise just as he helped launch a dying Star Trek into relevance again.

      • Sweet Pea

        I think JJ made Star Trek with his remakes. They are brilliant blockbuster movies for everyone to enjoy, not just a bunch of over protective nerds who speak Klingon and probably woship at a jedi “church” on Sundays lol

    • as140

      He saved Star Trek from nothing. He turned it in the complete opposite of what is was once.

      • Sweet Pea

        Yeah exactly, thats what he saved it from. He took it from a camp 60s tv show that turned into something geeks got excited and protective over while the rest of the world stopped caring, into a worldwide mega hit blockbuster for all the family. Me and my kids love the new movies.

  • JBug

    Star Wars is overrated. It might be a classic, but not much else. I don’t care much for the world of Star Wars. I don’t think there is anything inherently great about that universe that makes it better than John Carter’s or LOTR. I’m just hoping for some good Jedi stories and lightsaber fights. It’ll be really difficult to capture the magic of a series that’s great because of it’s novelty.

    • Kevin

      It’s great because people love the characters and the world, which is not a novelty. And John Carter’s story (The Princess of Mars) has been done many times before the new movie, including a Best Picture winner, a beloved Disney film, and the most successful film of all time.

      • JBug

        If people love the characters and world so much, why do the prequels get ripped on so much? I think it’s because the originals were a novelty and the new ones didn’t capture that original experience. I personally didn’t hate episodes I and II and I really liked III.

      • Kevin

        Because there were some really bad characters in the prequels, especially Anakin (who the prequels completely revolve around). No one complains about the old characters who make appearances. The world in all of the prequels is still really cool.

      • as140

        But maybe that was the way Lucas wanted him ever to be. And I think it fits. A strong character could not fall to the dark side.

      • Luis Romero

        exactly

    • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

      Watched John Carter once.

      Watched Star wars Episode IV 100 times.

      Quod Erat Demonstrandum

    • MIXTER

      Overrated? It Came out in 1977, Changed film making forever, Changed special effects, gave us ILM , Has arguably the best film score ever Created and is often voted the Case. Inspired Directors to make films like Alien, and an un-Countable other films. Has a fan base so big, its pretty much a religion to parts of the world. Sold more merchandise than any other movie. Is still going strong after 30+ years. Gave us the most beloved Characters ever Committed to film. The most quoted films of all time. Gave us the Coolest spaceships ever. Created Pixar. Skywalker sound, and does a hell of a lot for Charities. etC.. EtC.. …

      But, yeah, I agree, Overrated. :-S

      • JBug

        Thanks for proving my point. It has the largest fan base of any franchise ever, but for some reason, if you take someone under the age of 30 who has never seen the films before and have them sit through IV through VI, they don’t get what the fuss is all about. It might have revolutionized filmmaking, but it isn’t necessarily amazing by it’s own right. Movies are for the most part just better than they used to be. That doesn’t mean Star Wars isn’t a classic. It might mean we should stop trying to recapture it by continuing the franchise.

      • JBug

        Thanks for proving my point. It has the largest fan base of any franchise ever, but for some reason, if you take someone under the age of 30 who has never seen the films before and have them sit through IV through VI, they don’t get what the fuss is all about. It might have revolutionized filmmaking, but it isn’t necessarily amazing by it’s own right. Movies are for the most part just better than they used to be. That doesn’t mean Star Wars isn’t a classic. It might mean we should stop trying to recapture it by continuing the franchise.

      • saffsan

        i completely agree with your argument. you sir have captured what i wanted to say but could not put it together myself.
        The movie is amazing for its time and did change allot in the industry but if it was a brilliant film, the originals would have been adored by the new generations as well. Its a movie series that is loved due to when it was released and i think that is the biggest factor for its love because it was different for that period of time.

      • JBug

        Right. This isn’t to discredit the originals and what they accomplished. I just don’t know if it call for more movies to revisit the Star Wars universe no matter how beloved its characters are.

      • Ozweego

        For profits. Disney is a large company that just paid billions for the rights. The only way to make that back is to expand. Not rocket science just basic economics

      • JBug

        If I’m a Disney shareholder, I agree. That is probably the best way to make money and therefore they should do it. Nobody is talking about that.

      • JBug

        Right. This isn’t to discredit the originals and what they accomplished. I just don’t know if it call for more movies to revisit the Star Wars universe no matter how beloved its characters are.

    • Jose

      “It might be a classic, but not much else.” What??? lo yea because classics come and go everyday…

  • Kevin

    Sounds good to me.

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  • Doug_101

    I’ve loved Ejiofor as an actor for a long time and really want him to score some high profile roles as a result of his spectacular work in 12 Years a Slave, but if I had to choose, I’d much rather see him cast as Black Panther than get tangled up in Star Wars. If there’s some way for him to do both, so much the better, but if it came down to it, I’d prefer to see him as BP.

    • Bob

      I think everyone would rather see him as Black Panther…I mean I would be extremely happy if he’s a Jedi in the new Star Wars…but would be even happier if he was Black Panther in his own film and then Avengers 3 for sure.

  • straight arrow

    .. cmmm cmm im sorry am I the only one noticing Nolan is feature picture of this article?

  • Bob

    Now, imagine if Cumberbatch and Ejiofor are cast in this…damn that would be a damn great start for a cast.

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  • bidi

    why is Christopher Nolan pictured for this article on the top stories banner?

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  • Dingus23

    Yeah, sure he does. Just like Lucas is going to go back to making personal, avant garde films. Abrams wouldn’t know “gritty” if it smacked him upside the head. Stick to the glossy lens flares and action figure commercials!

  • MIXTER

    Grittier take like the originals… I got a good feelin about this!

  • rhizomeman

    I don’t see JJ saying “grittier” anywhere in those quotes…wtf?

  • Faptain America

    I guess I should go back and watch the original Star Wars at some point.

    • Doc

      Like go back in time?

      • Faptain America

        The prequels in the future structure does suggest time travel, yes. But I mean watch the first Star Wars, so I know what JJ Abrams is trying to lens flare out of my mind.

  • Strong Enough

    more minority actors employed is always a good thing especially in bigger blockbusters.

    • Jose

      Amen.

  • The_Dude

    Wow. Goldberg didn’t come off as a pretentious douche for once.

    *looks outside to see if pigs can fly*

  • Tyler

    He could be “12 Years a Jedi” lol

  • the truth

    lame, jj wants to ruin the franchise in other words. Lying delusional hack jj is.

    • sammy

      too true

      • MEY

        so true that sammy is the truth…

    • MEY

      the truth is that sammy is nosferatu…

    • MEY

      The truth is that sammy is nosferatu!

    • MEY

      the truth is that the truth is sammy…

  • nosferatu

    poor direction from the juvenils jew, aka jar jar abrams aka jj the hack abrams.

    This guy won’t be good, he has bugs eyes, can not get past the bug eyes. bzzz bzzzzz bzzz bzzz bzzzzzzzzz!

    • MEY

      the truth is that nosferatu is sammy…

  • poppincherry

    Stars Wars was Lucas’ dream child not JJ’s. Shit! Listening to this hack talk about going back to SW’s grittier roots is not only shameful but stupid.

  • http://www.youtube.com/somejackball somejackball

    he ain’t that good

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