In an exclusive report, The Wrap has revealed that Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII is zeroing in on its female lead. Here’s the requisite disclaimer that it’s still very early in the casting process…blah, blah…be wary of rumors…blah, blah…Disney declined to officially comment…blah, blah. And now that we’ve both raised and tempered your expectations, we can tell you that Jane The Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez, Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, and Bates Motel’s Olivia Cooke are reportedly on the shortlist for the role.
The Wrap has it on the authority of “others” that Johnson will actually bring in several actresses to chemistry-read with The Force Awakens star John Boyega, but that Maslany, Rodriguez, and Cooke are the top contenders for the role. There’s no other info on who the character might be, other than someone who apparently gets to hang out with Finn (Boyega) a lot. The film remains untitled, but the release date has been set for May 26, 2017.
Maslany was previously up for the female lead in Rogue One along with Rooney Mara (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), but the part ultimately went to Felicity Jones (The Theory Of Everything). Her recent Emmy nomination notwithstanding, Maslany’s work on Orphan Black is enough to convince anyone that she can lead a Star Wars film.
Rodriguez has only headlined one film to date, 2012’s Filly Brown, but her Golden Globe win for Jane The Virgin has got to carry some weight. Cooke, who plays sweet Emma Decody on Bates Motel, is probably the least known of the three, but she was the girl not long for this world in Me And Earl And The Dying Girl, which wowed audiences at Sundance. So it might all come down to who is—or isn’t—the right height to be a Stormtrooper.