Posted on Monday, November 25th, 2013 by Germain Lussier
Over the past few weeks, it’s become pretty obvious casting Star Wars Episode VII is a priority at Disney and Lucasfilm. Besides all the major actors who’ve read for roles, open casting calls literally all over the world are still ongoing, hoping to find two teenagers who are believed to anchor the film.
A new report in the Hollywood Reporter suggests that search is still ongoing and adds a new wrinkle. The piece says, because of the recent rewrite by J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, they’re also casting “a 40-something military man a la Matt Damon in Elysium.”
Here’s the excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter piece:
Director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy are casting the net far and wide, meeting actors in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. The duo is looking in particular for a tough-cookie girl in the 17- to 18-year-old range and a charismatic, funny guy from 19 to 23. “We don’t want to leave any stone unturned,” U.K. casting agent Kate Bone told the BBC. With the movie now being rewritten by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, sources say producers also are looking to fill a new role: a 40-something military man a la Matt Damon in Elysium.
There’s a lot we can read into this, if we so choose. First up, the open auditions for the teenagers has yet to produce any frontrunners, at least publicly. More importantly, it’s the first real acknowledgement the Abrams/Kasdan script is different from the Michael Arndt one. That’s certainly the implication from that last sentence, as if the new film added in a character that wasn’t there before.
Since we have no idea what either script is about, what changed, and might never know, let’s just put that confirmation on pause and focus on the specifics. Who is this “40-something military man a la Matt Damon in Elysium?” If memory serves, Matt Damon’s character in Elysium wasn’t a military man but we know what they mean. Someone grizzled, broken, desperate, but still incredibly skilled.
But is it a new character, which would mean it’s someone who was born between the trilogies? Or maybe it’s someone mentioned in the originals. Maybe we’re looking at someone like Wedge Antilles. He’d fit the age profile, and has been in a pretty epic war. Then again, maybe there was another war in between Return of the Jedi and Episode VII?
Since Abrams continues to say he wants to pay tribute to the original films as much as possible, I wouldn’t be surprised if a tertiary character like Wedge becomes a lead in these films. As usual, the possibilities are tantalizing. Now if only the reality could somehow meet that.
Star Wars Episode VII will be released December 18, 2015. Filming is said to start in the next few months.
Note: Yes, we acknowledge there was a similar description released months ago. But the above wording puts into question if the two are similar. With Star Wars, anything is possible.