It's widely expected that May 4th, the punningly-selected Star Wars day, will see our next official announcements from Lucasfilm on Episode VII. Seems reasonable. There has been some in-the-shadows talk that we'll not necessarily have to wait that long but I think this could be more to do with the quantity of announcements to be made and a fear of dumping it all at once.
But now matter what comes out before, and whatever is held back for after, I think it's pretty safe to say that May 4th will be when we're finally told formally that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford will be back for the next movie. Oh, and Anthony Daniels and Peter Mayhew, surely? And then, alongside those names, most likely, will be a bunch of newbies.
Deadline last night posted their latest scraping of rumours and the most interesting bit, perhaps, was their belief that this morning – so it will now have already happened – the cast were to convene for a table read of the script in London.
This could well mean that some hotel concierge or doorman knows a whole lot more about Star Wars than they even realise. I wouldn't be surprised to see this transform into tabloid newspaper scoops.
Deadline's story suggests that Harrison Ford has a big role in Episode VII. Reading between the lines, this seems to be an attempt to contradict old rumours that the character will be killed off in this episode. Perhaps that was the motivation behind this information 'leak.'
Meanwhile, Oscar Isaac and John Boyega are both names as being strong contenders for roles. If they have the parts, it will have been locked down now. Both had previous commitments that would need shuffling out of the way, but I can also imagine that they'd be keen to push them aside. John Boyega would have to drop out of or reschedule his commitment to Race, the Jess Owens biopic, and Oscar Isaac had both a smaller film (it certainly couldn't have been a bigger film) and stage play to reschedule.
Adam Driver was seen filming Girls very recently indeed but Season Four of that show will apparently see his character take a back seat for some episodes. Perfect timing, perhaps, for him to cross the Atlantic and get up to some Star Wars hijinks. We certainly hope so.
Perhaps no longer in contention are Jesse Plemons, who has taken a role in Black Mass, and Zac Efron and Lupita Nyong'o, both of whom simply seem to be cropping up less in recent industry gossip and chatter.
Having said that, here's a video of Efron talking to Channel 5 news within the last few days.
So maybe he is in. Or maybe… well. Anyway. Let's just say that there's more than one Star Wars film in the offing, and Lucasfilm will want to get started on the next one relatively soon, so… hmmm….
Back to Episode VII. I've found the possible casting of Maisie Richardson-Sellers quite hard to be get a bead on. Nobody seems to really know much at all about her involvement.
Some folk have commented on how unlikely it is that both Nyong'o and Richardson-Sellers would both have lead roles, particularly considering how white the original Star Wars trilogy was. The assumption that many have made is that there's unlikely to be more than one lead role for a non-white female.
But maybe JJ Abrams isn't being stupid and really is going for the best actors, irrespective of their ethnicity or background. We can only hope.
I had a much better idea where things were standing before the script was tossed out and reworked. It's kind of exciting, though, to think that we're approaching a whole wave of Episode VII publicity and, finally, some facts about the film.
If it does turn out that Lupita Nyong'o, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Harrison Ford and so on are all in the cast, I think we've got plenty of reasons to be cheerful, right?