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Meet the young newcomer who might be the heart and soul of J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII.
Maisie Richardson-Sellers in a British actress with no real credits to her name just yet. But several sources with direct ties to Abrams’ Star Wars sequel are telling The Hollywood Reporter that Richardson-Sellers is "in line to nab an undisclosed and possibly major role" in the upcoming sequel, which is scheduled to begin filming in May.
As the trade explains:
One of the roles yet to be filled is that of a young black or mixed-race woman who may be a descendant of Jedi Knight Ben Kenobi. In the film, which takes place 30 years after the events of 1983's [Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi], the character would cross paths with the children of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia."
So, Richardson-Sellers could be the next Jake Lloyd, the latest Hayden Christensen – newcomers with little to no field experience who were saddled with the immense burden of living up to the expectations of Star Wars fans around the globe? Good luck with that. It is a daunting task, though whomever takes the role has a few more elements in their favor. For one, they are expected to be surrounded by original Star Wars leads (and legitimate actors) Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. Then again, the prequels starred Oscar-worthy talents like Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson... so there goes that argument.
Abrams, however, is a better director who already has proven he can convert a stubborn fanbase into accepting his mainstream approach. We’ll see what magic he can work with Star Wars.
As for the potential casting of Richardson-Sellers, it fits the pattern that has emerged. Abrams has said he wants to find the next New Hope newcomers by casting relative unknowns. And he would like to surround that talent with Star Wars vets. Peter Mayhew recently revealed that he will be back in the Chewbacca suit for Star Wars: Episode VII. R2-D2 is on the hook, as well. Most of the original players are expected back in the fold.
THR says that Richardson-Sellers has not been offered the part yet. Prior to circling a Star Wars role, she appeared on stage in plays like For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide, Mephisto and There Will Be Red. Star Wars, obviously, would be a huge step up. Let’s see if she gets it. In the meantime, here’s Disney Studios Chair Alan Horn saying that parts of Episode VII have begun filming, and that the last few casting elements are falling into place. Will this be one?