The awesome actresses testing for Gareth Edwards' Star Wars spinoff

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Jan 21, 2015, 2:45 PM EST (Updated)

We know very little about the first big-screen Star Wars spinoff, but that might change soon. The film, helmed by Godzilla director Gareth Edwards, is on the hunt for a new writer after original scribe Gary Whitta left the project, and sources say the production was testing actors in the U.K. last month and is now testing actors in the U.S. We still don't know who or what the film will focus on, though the Han Solo rumors persist, but now that testing has begun, we've heard about some very big names that could be joining the Star Wars universe. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, both Tatiana Maslany and Rooney Mara are testing for the female lead in the film, with a "handful of others" set to test for the role as well. The report offers no details as to what the role is, but it's also noted that Felicity Jones is another major actress on the "want list" for the film, though she may not be available due to commitments to projects like Ron Howard's Inferno, which shoots later this year.

Whatever the role, if this report is true it's pretty clear Edwards is after proven acting powerhouses to play it. Maslany has droves of genre fans and tons of critical love for her multiple roles on the BBC America drama Orphan Black, while Mara broke out in a big way in 2011 with the title role in David Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which earned her an Oscar nomination. Jones is having a very big year after The Theory of Everything, which earned her Golden Globe, BAFTA and Oscar nominations.

Again, we still don't know exactly what this role is, whether it's Princess Leia, a kickass female bounty hunter, a Jedi or something else entirely. We do know, though, that all of these actresses pack a serious punch, and any one of them would instantly spike our already high anticipation for this flick.

Edwards' still-untitled Star Wars spinoff hits theaters on Dec. 16, 2016.

(Via THR)