Star Wars: Episode VIII has Mbatha-Raw out and Bel Powley in the mix?

Late last night some casting news hit regarding Bel Powley potentially coming aboard for a part in Star Wars: Episode VIII. If memory serves correctly, this part was assumed to be for a role that would be closely linked to John Boyega and some of the initial tests supposedly involved him. One could assume, if that information was correct that this new character might need to have some crucial chemistry with John Boyega as Finn in Star Wars: Episode VIII. /Film writes: 

Keep in mind that this isn’t a full trade scoop or anything like that. But back in December, Variety reporter Justin Kroll mentioned on Twitter to The Wrap reporter Jeff Sneider that Mbatha-Raw was no longer on board for Episode VIII, despite director Rian Johnson wanting her for the role. And now, nearly a month later, Sneider has taken to the latest episode of Meet the Movie Press to deliver the rumor that Powley is now in the mix for the role.

Powley is known for a film called Diary of a Teenage Girl. I haven’t seen it, but I have to admit that I like to use Star Wars casting news to check out films I might not have otherwise seen. Ethan at /Film reminds us that “Tatiana Maslany, Jane the Virgin‘s Gina Rodriguez, and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl‘s Olivia Cooke were previously on a shortlist,” so really this is essentially just another name to the list for now. The clock is ticking and the movie is nearly ready to start shooting, as we get closer the odds of one of these names is more likely to be true than not (although it is not unheard of for roles to be cast well into production).

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The vast majority of The Force Awakens roles were never announced formally. We simply got the main cast announcement, the Gwendoline Christie announcement, and the Maisie Richardson-Sellers announcement. I wonder if this movie will publicize its casting more or simply keep the talent off the grid until the film comes out?

(Via Club Jade)

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