Although, we had all but confirmation that Beyond The Lights and Concussion actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw had landed an important lead role in Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII. Expected to have beat-out other candidates such as Tatiana Maslany, Gina Rodriguez, and Olivia Cooke. A new rumor is suggesting that another actress is now in the running for the role, via Meet The Movie Press.
Jeff Snider from The Wrap stated that newcomer British actress Bel Powely is being linked for the film. He was the first in the trades to basically give the impression that Gugu had landed that role, but seems to be changing his tune here.
Yet, we know these are big roles and there are potentially multiple female roles being cast. Considering Gugu’s relationship with Rian Johnson, the writer-director hosted a Q&A for her film Beyond The Lights in the fall, where he fawned over her performance.
It’s possible that both could be in the film, and it might not be an either-or situation. Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy has stated the Star Wars universe would include a large number of female characters moving forward, and having more than two female leads sounds aligned with that statement.
While we have a strong idea of the parentage of Rey, it’s possible that Johnson might try to include Leia and Han’s daughter (reworked for the films) into the fray or she could be connected to Benicio Del Toro‘s character in the film. The hiring of Powley could echo the casting of fellow Brits Daisy Ridley and Felicity Jones, maybe there’s a link there?
SOURCE: MEET THE MOVIE PRESS