'Star Wars: Episode VII' Lead Role Search Narrowed to Just Five Actors?

March 12, 2014
Source: Variety

John Boyega / Ed Speleers

We already have "Girls" star Adam Driver lined up to play a villain in the developing Star Wars: Episode VII which will be going in front of cameras very soon. Now it's time to find out who will be taking the lead hero role in the sci-fi saga continuance from director J.J. Abrams. Countless actors have been testing for roles, so much that we've heard agencies are getting frustrated that the production hasn't made a decision yet. But now Variety says that the choices for the lead role have been narrowed down to just five names: Ed Speleers, John Boyega, Jesse Plemons, Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher. More below!

Speleers (right above) has been starring in "Downton Abbey" while Boyega (left above) found his breakthrough role in the indie sci-fi flick Attack the Block. Meanwhile, Plemons was already revealed to have met with Abrams, and it looks like the "Breaking Bad" star made an impression if he's still in consideration. Finally, Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher are theater actors looking for a big screen break, with the former appearing in Billy Elliot and About A Boy on stage. Supposedly the role they're up for is that of a Jedi apprentice, and Abrams has clashed with executives a bit because he wants a diverse cast.

Of course, the trade also says that some insiders are saying that the search hasn't been narrowed down to just those five names, but they are merely on the top of the list in recent weeks. Some of that just could be to keep some of their clients in the running, but with production just around the corner, we're going to hear of some official casting very soon. We still don't know the story, though certain sources say that an original draft focused on Han Solo and Princess Leia's kids, the new draft by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan puts them in supporting roles instead. Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, so stay tuned.

Find more posts: Casting, Development, Movie News, Star Wars



I'd take Plemons or Boyega, mostly because those are the only two names I recognize.

Rick on Mar 12, 2014


I remember seeing many of these lists for Superman vs Batman. None of which with Ben Affleck or Jesse Eisenberg on them.

Zak Coleman on Mar 12, 2014


Wow, the only name i recognize is Ed Speelers who did Eragon. The movie was a cool idea however ot very well executed. Unable to notice any extraordinary acting IMO. And the others i have no damn clue of their resume and acting talents. Seems like they're really going out on a limb here.

Rock n Rollllll on Mar 12, 2014


It was such a poorly made movie even John malkovich and Jeremy irons had forgettable performances. The book is one of my favorites so if you like the concept...

Jon Odishaw on Mar 12, 2014


Chris hemsworth and Zachary quinto were unknown to me before Star Trek and that's some of the best casting in film history. In Abrams we trust.

Jon Odishaw on Mar 12, 2014



OfficialJab on Mar 12, 2014


Hahahaha yes, my Bad. To be fair hemsworth was in it...

Jon Odishaw on Mar 12, 2014


Hemsworth played George Kirk in the opening scene of the first movie.

davidshaw on Mar 12, 2014


But honestly, that is more trivia and not widely known.

DAVIDPD on Mar 12, 2014


I knew (didn't think about it when I read his comment) but was pretty sure he meant Pine. I agree with his comment that Abrams is good at choosing actors. I don't want to know how many people they saw before taking Pine.

OfficialJab on Mar 13, 2014


C'mon! Let it be Boyega!!! He was pretty great as in ATTACK THE BLOCK, let him shine is a major motion picture.

DAVIDPD on Mar 12, 2014


Ed Speleers is really good in "Downton Abbey" and I expect he'd do just as well in a Star Wars film. His character on Downton is a bit of a jerk-ish scoundrel, so I'm sure he'd fit in nicely somewhere in the Star Wars universe.

Jake Bailey on Mar 13, 2014

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