AceShowbiz - It was reported that Gugu Mbatha-Raw ("Beyond the Lights") was on the shortlist for a female lead in Rian Johnson's "Star Wars Episode VIII". It seems that Mbatha-Raw has landed the role as Collider confidently reports that the 32-year-old actress is joining the cast of the upcoming sci-fi movie.
There is no word yet on what character she will portray. The plot details are also scarce. Previous report said that Mbatha-Raw was in contention along with Gina Rodriguez ("Jane the Virgin"), Tatiana Maslany ("Orphan Black") and Olivia Cooke ("Me & Earl & the Dying Girl") and they're competing for a female lead, or probably more than one female leads. What strengthens the possibility that Mbatha-Raw ends up taking the role is that Maslany has signed on for "Stronger", a movie about Boston Marathon Bombing, which likely means that she is unavailable for "Episode VIII".
As Tatiana, Olivia and Gina were rumored to do chemistry tests with "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" star John Boyega, there has been a speculation that his character will play a big role in the eighth episode. "Episode VIII" is produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg and is scheduled to be released in the U.S. on May 26, 2017.