Disney has just released a first look at the cast of Star Wars: Rogue One, Gareth Edwards‘ upcoming spinoff film about a group of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star, and there’s quite a bit to break down.
First, let’s start with the title. At Star Wars Celebration earlier this year, we thought that the spinoffs would be under the heading “Star Wars Anthology”, however, if you look at this new logo, you’ll see that it’s now all about the individual title with “A Star Wars Story” underneath:
Not quite as forceful, and for shorthand, we’ll still refer to this as “Star Wars: Rogue One” or just “Rogue One” since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sounds like a bedtime book.
Moving on, we also have some new and exciting additions to the cast. We previously reported that the cast included Felicity Jones, Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, and Forest Whitaker. Disney has now announced that the cast will also include Donnie Yen (Ip Man), Jiang Wen (Let the Bullets Fly), Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal), and Alan Tudyk (Firefly), who will be playing a performance-capture character.
From a talent and racial diversity perspective, this cast is fantastic, and I can’t wait to see what they do together. But if it has a major problem, it’s the same one that The Force Awakens had when it announced its cast: painfully short on female roles. Granted, based on this image and the order of announcing the cast, it sounds like Jones’ character is the lead of this ensemble, but that’s still just one female role and it’s 2015. That’s ridiculous. Hopefully there will be some more additions similar to how Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie were announced after the big cast photo was revealed for Force Awakens.
Check out the image and press release below. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens December 16, 2016.
click on the image below for high-res
Here’s the official press release:
Resistance Fighters Unite to Steal Plans for Death Star
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. (August 15, 2015)—Lucasfilm announced today that their first film in the new standalone Star Wars stories series, “Rogue One,” has begun principal photography. Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla,” “Monsters”) is directing “Rogue One,” which tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star. The film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy and is slated for a December 16, 2016 release.
The filmmakers have assembled a stellar cast, including Felicity Jones, nominated for an Academy Award® for her leading role in “The Theory of Everything”; Diego Luna, who was featured in 2008’s Oscar®-winning “Milk” and the critically acclaimed “Killing Them Softly”; Ben Mendelsohn, recently nominated for an Emmy® for his leading role in “Bloodline” and co-starring in the upcoming “Mississippi Grind”; Donnie Yen, Hong Kong action star and martial artist who starred in “Ip Man” and “Blade II”; Jiang Wen, who co-wrote, produced , directed and starred in the award-winning “Let the Bullets Fly” and “Devils on the Doorstep”; Forest Whitaker, recently featured in the critically-acclaimed Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” and winner of an Academy Award® for his leading role in 2006’s “The Last King of Scotland; Mads Mikkelsen, who starred in “The Hunt” and was the memorable villain from 2006’s “Casino Royale”; Alan Tudyk, who plays a performance-capture character in “Rogue One,” stars in the soon-to-be-released “Con Man” series and “Trumbo,” which releases this November; and Riz Ahmed, who was recently featured in “Nightcrawler” and starred in the BAFTA-winning film “Four Lions.”
“‘Rogue One’ takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe,” says Kathleen Kennedy. “It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know. Gareth is such an innovative director and I’m so excited to be working with him and the extraordinary ensemble cast he’s selected for ‘Rogue One.’”
Veteran ILM visual effects supervisor John Knoll, who shares a long history with the Star Wars movies, dating back to the mid-1990s, originated the idea for the movie. Allison Shearmur (“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Cinderella”), John Knoll, Simon Emanuel (“The Dark Knight Rises,” “Fast & Furious 6”) and Jason McGatlin (“Tintin,” “War of the Worlds”) are executive producers. Kiri Hart and John Swartz (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) are co-producers.
To create the lived-in, realistic feel of “Rogue One,” Edwards chose Greig Fraser (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Foxcatcher”) to be his director of photography and Neil Corbould (“Black Hawk Down,” “Gladiator,” “Saving Private Ryan”) to be his special effects supervisor. Star Wars and Lucasfilm veteran Doug Chiang (“Star Wars: Episodes I-II,” “Forrest Gump”) and Neil Lamont (supervising art director for the “Harry Potter” series, “Edge of Tomorrow”) will be the production designers. Additional crew members will include stunt coordinator Rob Inch (“World War Z,” Marvel’s “Captain America: The First Avenger”), creature effects supervisor Neal Scanlan (“Prometheus”) and co-costume designers Dave Crossman (costume supervisor for the “Harry Potter” series, “Saving Private Ryan”) and Glyn Dillon (costume concept artist for “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” “Jupiter Ascending”).
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