Last month, we reported that Gareth Edwards‘ Star Wars spin-off was eyeing Felicity Jones, Rooney Mara, and Tatiana Maslany for the lead role. THR now reports that the production is now in talks with Jones to play the female lead. Maslany and Mara had tested for the role, but there was doubt about Jones since she’s signed on to do Ron Howard‘s Da Vinci Code sequel, Inferno, this spring and summer. Apparently, that’s not too much of an obstacle to get to a galaxy far, far away.
Unsurprisingly, there are no details about the plot, especially since screenwriter Chris Weitz (Twilight: New Moon) was brought on to replace Gary Whitta (Book of Eli) on handling the script. There had been rumors about the spin-off being a Dirty Dozen-style film about a group of bounty hunters trying to retrieve the plans for the Death Star. But there’s been no confirmation of that, and since we’re still trying to learn the particulars of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I wouldn’t expect any hard details on the Star Wars spin-off anytime soon.
While we assumed that the spin-off would be a welcome change-up by having a female lead, it turns out there’s also a male lead in the mix as well. According to THR, Aaron Paul and Edgar Ramirez are on the wishlist to play the part, and it’s unclear whether it’s the male character or the female one who takes point on the story. We previously reported that Paul might have expressed interest in being involved in a spin-off featuring a young Han Solo.
Although Mara and Maslany are fine actresses, Jones has the benefit of coming off a recent Oscar nomination for her performance in The Theory of Everything, and she’s lined up not only Inferno, but she’ll be co-starring in J.A. Bayona‘s A Monster Calls with Liam Neeson and Toby Kebbell. She’ll next be seen alongside Jonah Hill and James Franco in True Story, but as I said in my review, it’s a nothing role that’s far beneath her talents.
The untitled Star Wars spin-off is due out December 16, 2016.