"Star Wars Episode 7" casting is almost complete, and the latest report suggests an unknown British actress named Maisie Richardson-Sellers is being eyed for a major role. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the producers are now in London for an extended casting search before the principal production is scheduled to begin this coming May.
Sellers is an Oxford student who has appeared in plays like "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide", "Mephisto", and "There Will Be Red". She has also starred in a short film called "One First World". The character that she is circling is still undisclosed, but the only vacant role left is "a young black or mixed-race woman who may be a descendent of Jedi Knight Ben Kenobi."
Lupita Nyong'o was previously mentioned in the mix, but the rumor died down after J.J. Abrams' actor pal Dominic Monaghan revealed that the producers were putting together "a cast of unknowns." He explained, "What he said was, 'We don't want to fall into that mistake of people going 'Oh it's that guy from that thing!' and then you're completely out of the 'Star Wars' universe.' "
The rumored candidates for the new male lead, meanwhile, are Ed Speleers ("Downton Abbey"), John Boyega ("Attack the Block"), and two theater actors Matthew James Thomas as well as Ray Fisher. Jesse Plemons ("Breaking Bad") was also in the casting mix, but he was later rumored being out of contention after joining "Black Mass".
The movie is slated for December 18, 2015 release in the United States. Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher are expected to reprise their roles as the classic "Star Wars" trio, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia, respectively. Original cast member, Peter Mayhew, also returns to don Chewbacca costume.
The movie has begun filming this month while waiting for the casting to complete. An early draft of the screenplay was written by "Toy Story 3" scribe Michael Arndt, before director Abrams took it over with Lawrence Kasdan. The story will take place around 30 years after the events of 1983's "Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi".
THR learns that Disney is planning to build an extensive re-creation of Tatooine, the desolate home planet of Luke and Anakin Skywalker, in a Morocco-like environment. The original set was built in Tunisia.