After months of searching, with numerous rumors swirling around the process, J J Abrams may have narrowed down his choice to take one of the new leads in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII to just five possibilities. According to Variety, the five names on the short list are – Ed Speleers (Dowtown Abbey), John Boyega (Attack The Block), the previously reported on Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad) and theater actors Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher.
Variety is reporting that Disney has had no comment but that the role these actors are up for is a Jedi apprentice, a character that emerged from Abrams’ rewrites. Original screenwriter Michael Arndt’s script reportedly centered more on the offspring of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), but they have supposedly been moved off to a more supporting role.
Filming is set to begin next month, so a decision will have to made soon as to how will get the coveted role. Variety’s sources are saying that delay is in part due to some execs and creatives on the film wanting the cast to be more ethnically diverse than previous Star Wars films may have been.
Abrams has said on numerous occasions that he wants to have a diversified cast, which is why actors like David Oyewolo and Michael B. Jordan tested early on.
Star Wars Episode VII is scheduled to hit theaters on December 18th, 2015.