With J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the final stretch, so much of Disney’s attention will turn to the first of the planned solo, standalone films that had been farmed out to upcoming talents. Godzilla director Gareth Edwards goes first, and the recent rumors that he way eyeing Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany might have been premature.

THR now goes on record to say that Felicity Jones, currently enjoying an Oscar nomination for The Theory of Everything, is "in talks to star in the project" as the female lead. Jones could star alongside Aaron Paul and/or Edgar Ramirez, both of whom are in the running for the male lead.

Felicity Jones has been a sought-after talent ever since breaking on the scene in Drake Doremus’ indie weeper Like Crazy. Though she is no stranger to blockbusters, having held down a small role in last summer’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, she’s currently best recognized for playing Jane Hawking, wife of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, in the Oscar nominated The Theory of Everything.

Often, actors are able to translate Oscar heat into significant feature-film roles, though landing the lead in a Star Wars spinoff is, pardon the pun, in its own galaxy. There is no confirmation regarding who Felicity Jones would play in this solo movie. THR merely confirms that there have been a series of hush-hush test and readings. Earlier, our own Joseph Baxter floated five possibilities as to who the female lead in Gareth Edwards’ story could be. Scan that list to refresh your memory.

Aaron Paul’s name has been mentioned in conjunction with this project before, with his status actually being attached to the role of a young Han Solo. He has shot this theory down on social media, and yet, THR links him once again to the project. Seeing as how Michael Fassbender’s name also has been linked to this project as of late, I wonder if Disney is lining up a series of all-star talents to carry this first solo film?

Will it happen? This is closer to a full report than we have seen in chat rooms and message boards prior to this announcement. If THR trusts its sources, I’m guessing we’ll hear confirmation from Disney and Lucasfilm shortly. Gareth Edwards will have to begin shooting soon to keep this untitled Star Wars film on track for its announced Dec. 16, 2016 release date.

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