As a successful director, Jason Reitman understands that to divine the truth of a movie, one must shed all extraneous cinematic baggage. Profit-hungry producers, visual effects, storyboards, reviewing dailies, shooting footage—all of that moviemaking nonsense—is what ruins making a movie. The liberating approach to a “not-movie-movie” kōan may be part of the appeal of Reitman’s pet project: an ongoing series of live script readings with impressive Hollywood casts.

Having previously tackled scripts for sold-out crowds including Pulp Fiction, an all-black Reservoir Dogs, The Princess Bride, Ghostbusters, American Beauty, The Apartment, and an all-female Glengarry Glen Ross, Reitman is now ready to strip down The Empire Strikes Back. Entertainment Weekly reports that Reitman has already cast some key roles, including Aaron Paul as Luke Skywalker and J.K. Simmons as proud papa Darth Vader.


Empire’s supporting cast will include Stephen Merchant as C-3P0, Dennis Haysbert as Lando Calrissian, and Kevin Pollak, who Reitman says will lend his voice talents to Yoda as well as numerous supporting characters, including the “countless Imperial officers who are strangled by Vader.” Other major roles, such as Princess Leia and Han Solo, are still being kept under wraps.

The already-sold-out live read will take place tomorrow, December 18, at the Ace Hotel Theater in Los Angeles.