By now the news has had time to sink in. Wounds have had time to heal, all the wailing and gnashing of teeth has stopped, and spontaneous celebrations have ceased. That's right, Disney has announced last week that they bought Lucasfilm for over 4 billion dollars, and plan to release at least six, but as many as 12 new Star Wars movies.
Rumors are running rampant right now, and one rumor has it that Disney tentatively plans to start the series about 5 years after the last one ended. As none of the original cast are spring chickens anymore, this will probably require a recast of all the major human characters. (No Tron: Legacy please). So who will be the next generation to step into those shoes? I give my speculations below the fold:
Luke Skywalker: The character of Luke Skywalker is a relatively earnest young man. Luke started Episode IV as a teenager, and ended by VI as a young man who is rather world-weary and wise. I think they should be able to get away with anyone from their mid-twenties until about early thirties or so. Here are some of my favorites:
Evan Peters: He can be currently seen in American Horror Story. I think he has the brooding thing down pat, and he is an excellent actor. I worry about his physicality for stunts (unknown), and the fact that he is a relatively unknown name. I think Disney will probably pass.
2. Liam Hemsworth- Miley Cyrus's ex, certainly has good looks, and since he is a costar in the Hunger Games, he already has the experience of being in a big studio movie . He's a little beefy for Luke, but I think that could probably be adjusted. Disney would take a long, hard look at this one.
3. My radical choice for Luke Skywalker is Justin Timberlake. Scuttlebutt has it tat he was in the finals for Anakin Skywalker for Episodes I-III before the studio forced Lucas to choose Hayden Christensen. Timberlake's acting was an unknown factor back then, but having seen him in a few roles since, he is a pretty decent actor, though even at 30-something he may still look a little too boyish to pull an older Luke off credibly. He is a Disney veteran though, so I think Disney will at least consider it.
Princess Leia Organa: For Princess Leia, they need to cast a woman who is capable of being both wry and strong, without going to far in the other direction and becoming abrasive.
1. Anne Hathaway- The role is pretty much hers to lose. She is a bankable name, a strong actress, and a Disney veteran. She is a very busy actress though, though I suspect she might find room in her schedule for this movie.
2. Mila Kunis- Another good actress. She also does wry very well, and has a great sense of timing. If Hathaway passes, I suspect she would get the next call.
3. Jessica Biel- I think she is a bland actress, at best, but she has come to be associated with strong action roles, and she inexplicably continues to be getting work, so the studio will probably at least take a look at her.
Han Solo: This character is a little older, full of derring-do, and is witty, sharp, with a great sense of humor. Basically a space pirate, but one from a romance novel.
1. Hugh Jackman- This is his role. He has the name, the look, and the acting. If he doesn't get it, it would only be because he didn't want it.
2. Nathan Fillion- He has already played a version of the space pirate character before on Firefly, and he certainly looks the part.
Lando Calrissian: Lando is a smoother version of Han Solo. A little more charm, but still a "bad boy with a heart of gold", much like Solo. A black space pirate.
1.Will Smith- It's a no brainer that Smith would be offered the role first. He probably won't want to play second banana to everyone else though, so unless he is a Star Wars fan, I see him passing on the role.
2. Idris Elba- Stringer Bell. Very smooth guy. He definitely could carry off the role, and he isn't a big enough star yet where he would resent being lower-billed.
Mara Jade: This is the wife of Luke Skywalker. She only appears in the Expanded Universe, and it is unclear whether or not she would appear in the movies. If she does, I think she should be played by...Emma Stone. A great actress who can be both very tough and vulnerable, as needed.
Well there you have it, some of my casting choices for the possible Star Was sequels that Disney is producing. Who are your choices? What storylines would you want them to pursue? Who is on your wishlist for directors? Tell us below in the comment section.