'Star Wars' Movies Spoilers: Episode 8 Cast News, Actress Shortlist Teases Leading Female Role

By Jon Niles | Sep 02, 2015 03:30 PM EDT
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There are so many Star Wars movies coming out over the course of the next number of years, but the new trilogy is clearly the bigger project aside from the Anthology spin-off, standalone films. That said, we haven't even watched The Force Awakens, but news is pouring in about its sequel, so far only known as Episode VIII. Apparently, a leaked shortlist of actresses rumored for a new major role in the follow up to 2015's Episode VII is making its way around the Internet with some great names! Orphan Black lead Tatiana Maslany, Jane the Virgin's Gina Rodriguez and Bates Motel star Olivia Cooke (pictured above) allegedly make up this list of actresses eyed by Lucasfilm and Disney. Find out more about these casting rumors below.

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"Insiders insist it's early in the casting process and that [writer-director Rian] Johnson) is still auditioning actresses, with several rising stars yet to read for him," TheWrap reports (via IGN / Slash Film). "Others suggest that Johnson is narrowing down the field and that Rodriguez, Maslany and Cooke will be among a group of girls slated to chemistry-read with The Force Awakens star John Boyega before the end of the month."

While all three actresses would make for amazing casting choices, we do know that Disney and Lucasfilm have had their eye on Maslany for quite some time now. She was previously up for the lead role in director Gareth Edwards' standalone project, Star Wars: Rogue One. That role ended up going to Academy Award nominee Felicity Jones. It looks like the studios were at least impressed with the actress enough so to keep her in mind for this other role for Episode VIII.

In regards to Rodriguez and Cooke, both actresses have loyal fans that would also skew to the Star Wars demographic, and they're equally talented in their own rights. We're excited to see how this casting plays out.

Let us know what you think of this shortlist in the comments section below!

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