Craving more STAR WARS SPIN-OFF rumours? This article will focus on the DIRECTOR behind the stand-alone film and the CASTING of its mysterious lead female in this supposed story of bounty hunters conducting a heist.
One of the most exciting (confirmed) details about this spin-off is the director, GARETH EDWARDS. He previously masterfully helmed the surprise indie hit MONSTERS along with the brilliantly staged and atmospheric rebooted GODZILLA. Naysayers of that monster flick could easily point to the script for any faults. Edwards delivered scale and scope with each impressive action sequence. Sure, his visuals are reminiscent of Spielberg and Kubrick, but isn’t that a good thing? I mean, he could be compared to Ed Wood instead, right.
With Edwards behind the camera, I have a lot of confidence in this STAR WARS spin-off. The only thing that causes apprehension is the melding of previous stories and character histories. I’m not sure I want to see more of Jabba the Hutt. I’m more excited for the SEVEN SAMURAI comparisons. I want to see a team of noble warriors executing a heist or hunting down a deadly villain.
Casting rumours are just as intriguing. It looks like ROONEY MARA from GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (American remake) and SIDE EFFECTS is one of the favourites for the lead female role. Her abilities cover a lot of emotional territory. I feel like her character could be quite complex. I’d like to think the character is good, but wonder if she’s bad through the course of the movie. I think this sort of ambigious morality could be very compelling with Rooney Mara in the role. I’d like to see her chew up the screen as a villain. By the by, it is still unconfirmed whether or not this new lead character is a hero or a baddie.
The Rooney Mara rumour is great because as an actress she’s a chameleon. She can play Plain Jane or Femme Fatale – and be just as believable at both. With an action adventure like this, it’s her physical pressence which is equally important. If she’s a bounty hunter she could battle with a variety of weapons, although I doubt a Jedi’s lightsaber is one of them.
And she’s just one of the casting rumours…
Another rumoured actor is FELICITY JONES. She’s appeared in several period pieces and indie films such as HYSTERIA and LIKE CRAZY. With her name mentioned, it’s even more clear that the producers seek someone with a combination of beauty and talent. It seems like this coveted role will be multi-dimensional.
The one thing I haven’t seen Jones do is something action-oriented. Since this is STAR WARS, I assume the role will involve at least a little ass-kickery. I hope this role is not for that of a politically motivated aristrocrat. I think we saw that a STAR WARS focused on politics doesn’t work with the disappointing prequel trilogies.
While I really enjoy Rooney Mara’s work over several roles and her physical pressence, I think there might be a better option. The third actress rumoured for the SPIN-OFF is fellow Canadian TATIANA MASLANY from the Canadian show ORPHAN BLACK. Maslany is a critic’s darling for her multi-faceted role in this dark series. Despite being championed as a favourite, she was snubbed come Awards time.
For those unfamiliar with ORPHAN BLACK, it is a sci-fi / thriller mash-up. In the beginning, Maslany watches a woman step in front of a subway train, committing suicide. The twist? This woman looks identical to her. It turns out this woman is a spy or part of some secret organization. As the story unravels during that pilot episode, Maslany meets another woman who looks like she could be her clone. Well, that’s because she IS her clone. In fact, there are clones. Plural.
So what’s that all mean? It means Maslany can not only handle the action requirements of a grand scale action adventure thrill ride, but she can also masterfully portrays several unique personalities with varied appearances and motivations. For these reasons and more, I feel like TATIANA MASLANY should jump to the front of the line. She may not have the star power recognition of Rooney Mara (appearing in the Award nominated TATTOO), but she definitely rivals her beauty and talent.
Since this proposed SPIN-OFF idea centers around bounty hunters, the story can unravel any number of ways. We could have outerspace dogfights, chase scenes on alien planets, stealthy infiltrations of intergalactic councils, or an old fashioned bar-fight. The possibilities are endless. The plot can be more complicated, dealing with backstabbings and political treachery. We can have characters in shades of grey, where STAR WARS is traditionally more black and white. More importantly, we can have a STAR WARS movie without The Force. We can get a down and dirty adventure film without any supernatural elements.
We could realistically have a science fiction free sci-fi epic. The whole story could take place on one planet without aliens. I’m not saying this will happen, as I’m sure this would alienate (pun intended) many viewers who crave the fantastic elements. All I want from STAR WARS is fun and excitement. Sure, I like the occasional philosophical waxing and some heavier emotional moments. But really… I just want to go on a ride. I want to escape in the best universe ever developed for the silver screen.
I wonder if this mysterious lead character will end up being the leader of this rag-tag team of mercenaries? If so, she will have to command the screen. I’m pleased that the STAR WARS creative team seems to be recruiting talent over starpower. We don’t hear rumours about supermodels vying for roles.
We don’t hear about ZAC EFFRON for Han SOLO. We don’t hear about BLAKE LIVELY for the lead in the spin-off. It seems this sort of casting continuity extends from the decisions for EPISODE VII. Afterall, the original trilogy didn’t star big brand names. These actors became the characters. HARRISON FORD made a career out of being Han Solo. He played the badass hero in several movies, INDIANA JONES arguably being the closest in disposition to Solo.
What do you think?
Should STAR WARS cast more recognizable names than those mentioned?
Would you rather a true stand-alone film, where bounty hunters pull off a heist?
What do you think of these 3 casting rumours? Which one intrigues you the most?
Would casting a mostly unknown actor like JONES or MASLANY benefit the movie?
Would you rather see a familiar face like ROONEY MARA who has yet to break through into the mainstream? It kinda sorta worked for NATALIE PORTMAN… um, didn’t it?
What other actors would you like to assemble together as a bounty hunting squad?
What do you think of Edwards as a director here?
Do you have any ideas on a possible title for this spin-off?