john boyega star wars John Boyega, Ed Speleers & Jesse Plemons Among Actors Vying For Star Wars: Episode VII Lead Role?

At this point it seems that approximately 1823798 actors have been linked to ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ in some capacity. And while there’s been no official casting announcements to date, the likes of Michael Fassender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jesse Plemons, Adam Driver, Hugo Weaving, Michael B. Jordan, Jack O’Connell, Alex Pettyfer, Zac Efron, Saoirse Ronan and Sullivan Stapleton have all had their names connected with the film via various casting rumors over the last year or so. Additionally, it has long been expected that Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher will be reprising their iconic roles from the original trilogy.

Today you can add a number of new names to that list, as Variety are reporting that Ed Speleers (Downtown Abbey), John Boyega (Attack the Block), the previously linked Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad), and theater actors Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher are among the men J.J. Abrams is eyeing for the lead role. Though some insiders warn the search is still ongoing, multiple sources confirm to the outlet these actors have moved to the top of the list in recent weeks. Last month Variety reported that Adam Driver is close to signing on to play the villain in ‘Star Wars: Episode VII.’ Exact details are unknown, but the character is said to be in the vein of iconic ‘Star Wars’ villain Darth Vader.

‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ director/co-writer J.J. Abrams runs one of the movie and television industry’s top production companies, Bad Robot, and created or co-created television franchises like ‘Lost,’ ‘Fringe’ and ‘Alias.’ He has also helmed the feature films ‘Mission: Impossible III,’ ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Super 8.’ Abrams latest project was ‘Star Trek Into Darkness,’ his second Star Trek film since he rebooted the franchise in 2009. John Williams is returning to score ‘Star Wars: Episode VII.’ The film will hit theaters on December 18th, 2015.

Location scouting, production design, casting, and costume design are already underway on the film. A team of gifted artists are working to bring the latest installment of the “Star Wars” saga, including director of photography Dan Mindel (Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek), production designers Rick Carter (Lincoln, Avatar) and Darren Gilford (Oblivion, TRON: Legacy), costume designer Michael Kaplan (Star Trek Into Darkness, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), special effects supervisor Chris Corbould (Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises), sound designer Ben Burtt (Lincoln, Star Wars: Episodes I-VI), re-recording mixer Gary Rydstrom (Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan), supervising sound editor Matthew Wood (Star Trek Into Darkness, The Master) of Skywalker Sound, and visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett (Star Trek Into Darkness, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End) of Industrial Light & Magic.