Star Wars: Episode VII Looking At 12 Years A Slave Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong'o

Thanks to yesterday's shortlist we know that Jesse Plemons, Attack The Block's John Boyega, Downton Abbey's Ed Speleers, and stage actors Matthew James Thomas, and Ray Fisher are the actors who are being heavily considered to play the young male hero in Star Wars: Episode VII, but now a new story from The Hollywood Reporter has given us some insight as to what the production is looking for in its female roles. According to the trade's sources, actress Lupita Nyong'o - who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress just a few weeks ago for her turn in Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave - has taken at least one meeting with director/co-writer J.J. Abrams about potentially playing a key part in the next chapter of George Lucas' sci-fi epic.

Insanely heavy security surrounding the project prevents us from knowing anything concrete about both the story and the characters in Star Wars: Episode VII, though THR may have some insight as to who the Oscar winning actress may play. Apparently there is a possibility that the film will feature a descendent of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the trade says that the part is for a "non-Caucasian role." Fans will probably notice that Nyong'o doesn't look a whole lot like either Sir Alec Guinness or Ewan McGregor, but it's possible she's just a very, very distant descendant - if that is indeed her part.

As things stand, the only actor who we're 99% sure is going to be in Star Wars: Episode VII is Girls' star Adam Driver, who will reportedly be playing a villain with a role similar to the one played by Darth Vader in the original trilogy. We haven't even heard anything about Mark Hammill, Carrie Fisher or Harrison Ford. Presumably we will be hearing a lot of official announcements in the next few weeks, as production on the new Star Wars movie is scheduled to start up this spring in London.

Lupita's last movie just released a few weeks ago, as she was part of the cast in Jaume Collet-Serra's airplane-set action thriller Non-Stop. THR says that she was one of the actresses being considered for the role of Tiger Lily in Joe Wright's Peter Pan origin movie Pan (that role eventually went to Rooney Mara), but she is now also apparently being considered for the Daniel Craig-starring courtroom drama The Whole Truth.

Would you want to see Lupita Nyong'o join the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII? What kind of role would you like to see her take? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.