A lot of the indefatigable [Star Wars: Episode VIII](movie:711868) casting rumors have concerned themselves with the big, predictable names in Hollywood. Y'know, basically Benedict Cumberbatch. But today we've got a new one, and it's a bit more surprising.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, complete unknown Maisie Richardson-Sellers could be up for a major role in the new Star Wars film. According to THR:
Speculation is swirling like the mists of Dagobah around newcomer Maisie Richardson-Sellers. Several sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that she is in line to nab an undisclosed and possibly major role in the high-profile Disney/Lucasfilm production, which is in the middle of an extended casting search in London in advance of a May production start date.
Hardly anything is known about Richardson-Sellers except that she's a budding, Oxford-educated actress. So far she has no big-screen credits to her name, although she does have several play appearances, including For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide, Mephisto and There Will Be Red. She has also appeared in a short film titled Music Wherever She Goes. If you want to check that out, then you watch it in the player below.
However, like all casting rumors, nothing has been confirmed. Indeed, THR sources state that Richardson-Sellers has not yet been offered a role, although there is speculation about the part she could play. We have previously heard that a "young black or mixed-race woman" would be playing a descendant of Jedi Knight Obi Wan Kenobi. Could Richardson-Sellers be filling this role? For the record, Deadline also added:
We hear it’s not a lead, but the producers have their eye on Maisie Richardson-Sellers.
Now, how much faith can we but in these rumors? Well, to be honest it could be one of the more reasonable ones we've heard to date. Rumors concerning major Hollywood stars currently in the vogue are certainly to be expected (and rejected fairly quickly), however why would anyone begin a rumor about someone we've literally never heard of? Unless this is some brazen attempt at publicity by Richardson-Sellers' agent, I think we should certainly be paying attention.
Personally, I'm all for adding new talent to Star Wars 7. In fact, it could be one the best movies to introduce us to new stars. With the franchise demanding such widespread respect and recognition, movie executives will not be overly relying on big names to draw in an audience. In many ways, Star Wars: Episode VII is already a massive hit. With this in mind, casting directors can really concentrate on casting the right people, including unknowns.
What do you think? Are you excited about the prospect of adding new unknown talent to Star Wars: Episode VII, or would you prefer more familiar faces? Let us know in the comments section below.