Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern join cast of Star Wars: Episode VIII
Disney has confirmed that Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern are to join the Star Wars universe, having signed on to Rian Johnson’s forthcoming follow-up to blockbuster megalith The Force Awakens.http://toplivenews.net/
Currently titled simply Star Wars: Episode VIII, the new instalment is due to begin shooting on Monday at Pinewood Studios near London. Del Toro’s involvement has been hinted at for several months, with the Puerto Rican Oscar-winner telling HitFix last month that he will play a villainous character. “You know, I’m not supposed to say, but that’s what’s out there, so I’m not gonna try and fight it,” he said.Little is known about what role Dern, the 49-year-old Oscar nominee and David Lynch regular, might be taking. Disney, which bought Star Warsproduction company Lucasfilm in October 2012 and has since embarked on a new trilogy and several spin-off films, also announced that newcomer Kelly Marie Tran has joined the cast.
Unconfirmed reports last month suggested Johnson, the director of Brick and Looper, has rewritten the script for Episode VIII to focus on characters from The Force Awakens. British actors Daisy Ridley (Rey) and John Boyega (Finn) are rejoining the cast alongside Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie and Andy Serkis.Nyong’o’s return suggests that Episode VIII may introduce more detail about the character of Maz Kanata, the diminutive alien whose background and stature were left frustratingly, and controversially, nebulous in The Force Awakens.Christie had already confirmed her return as Stormtrooper chief Captain Phasma, while Gleeson’s presence suggests the nefarious General Hux made it off the exploding Starkiller Base at the end of JJ Abrams’s movie.
Disney announced last month that it was moving Episode VIII’s release back seven months from its original 26 May 2017 release date. The new film will now open in cinemas on 15 December next year.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens passed the $2bn mark last week, with$2.026bn in receipts at the global box office. It is the third-highest-grossing film of all time behind 2009’s Avatar and 1997’s Titanic.