Despite knowing practically nothing about the plot, the characters or even the title, we've been talking quite a lot about Gareth Edwards' 2016 Star Wars spinoff movie lately. There are plenty of reasons to be interested in the film, of course. It will be the first live-action spinoff film in Star Wars history, and the first Star Wars film to follow J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens, which is expected to kick off the Disney era of Star Wars cinema with a billion-dollar bang this Christmas. It'll be a chance for Edwards to prove his range after two monster movies (Monsters and Godzilla), and it sounds like it'll be a chance for some young actor or actors to boost their big-screen profiles.
The question is, who will those actors be? We've heard rumors of Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul playing young Han Solo, we've heard rumors of bounty hunters, and we've even heard rumors of characters from the Star Wars Rebels animated series making the jump to live action. The bottom line is that we still don't know who the characters are, but over the last couple of weeks we've at least gotten a better idea of who might headline the flick. Last month reports surfaced that Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara were both testing for the female lead in the film, and now a new report claims the female lead has been locked down.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Theory of Everything star Felicity Jones is Disney's choice for the female lead in the film, and she's now "in talks" to join the project. Jones' name first came up in the initial reports naming Maslany and Mara as contenders, but at the time it was speculated that she'd be too busy with upcoming projects like Ron Howard's Inferno to commit to the film. Disney has not commented on the report, but if it's true, it seems she found room in her schedule.
Jones is having a great year thanks to The Theory of Everything, in which she plays Jane Wilde Hawking, the wife of physicist Stephen Hawking. Her performance earned her Golden Globe, Critics' Choice, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA and Oscar nominations for Best Actress, and she's already got other high-profile roles lined up with Inferno and the fantasy film A Monster Calls on the way. She's a star on the verge of being a superstar, and joining the Star Wars universe could certainly help with that leap.
So, while we still have no idea apart from rumors what the film is about or who Jones will play, it seems for the moment that Edwards' film has picked up its first cast member.
The still-untitled Star Wars spinoff film hits theaters on Dec. 16, 2016.