Variety is reporting that Forest Whitaker is now in final negotiations to join the cast of Star Wars: Rogue One, the Star Wars spin-off directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters).
At this time Whitaker’s possible role has not been revealed, so we can only speculate which side of the Force he will choose, but this is definitely exciting news. Apart from Taken 3, Whitaker has spent his career avoiding franchises, so this will be interesting to see what he can deliver.
Disney and Lucasfilm had no comment on the casting.
Star Wars: Rogue One stars Felicity Jones as one of the rebel soldiers opposite Ben Mendelsohn set as the main villain; Riz Ahmed and Diego Luna are also rumored to play rebel fighters.
Edwards revealed at the Star Wars celebration in April that Rogue One will take place inbetween Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope, in a time when the Jedi are all but extinct. He revealed the new film will aim “maybe a little bit more towards IV,” and said that A New Hope is his favorite film.
The film concerns attempts by the Rebel Alliance to capture the plans to the Death Star – said plans were, of course, the plot motivator driving A New Hope. Rather than focus on the adventures of Jedi Knights, who are of course all but extinct after the events of Revenge of the Sith, it will instead be about ordinary men and women “that don’t have magic powers, that have to bring hope to the galaxy,”
The official synopsis is as follows: “A band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans.”
The stand-alone films were part of George Lucas’ idea. He wanted to explore all of the stories that take place inside the Star Wars universe. These films will still feel like Star Wars, but stand on their own and introduce new characters and places.
They want the film to feel “real”. Edwards said, “It’s hopefully going to feel very natural and subjective.” He doesn’t want the good guys to be all good, or the bad guys to be all bad. It’s about the shades of grey.
Filming on Rogue One will begin in the UK this summer.