Wednesday, June 4, 2014
First, two actresses have joined the cast for Episode VII and, presumably, the entire sequel trilogy. One is simply confirming a rumor that was going around even as the first round of announcements were made, and that is Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o. Her Oscar came for her work in 12 Years a Slave, but she can also be seen in the Liam Neeson action thriller Non-Stop. The second newcomer will be a familiar face to some sci-fi/fantasy fans. Gwendoline Christie is currently starring in HBO’s massive hit series Game of Thrones as the formidable warrior Brienne of Tarth. She will also be in the upcoming third and fourth installments of the Hunger Games series. It isn’t known yet what roles these ladies will play (nor is it for any of the new cast members).
So that’s the news for the sequel trilogy, which will consist of three films released in alternating years beginning in 2015. In between those films, a number of standalone films are planned to fill the void. The specific content of these films has not yet been disclosed, but they are expected to explore the origin stories of familiar characters. While major details regarding these films are still forthcoming, a few tidbits have come out. One, presumably the first, is to be directed by Gareth Edwards based on a script written by Gary Whitta. Edwards is best known for the new Godzilla movie that’s in theaters now, and he also directed the 2010 alien-invasion film Monsters. Whitta wrote the screenplay for 2010’s The Book of Eli, as well as 2013’s After Earth.
Just today, it was announced that another standalone Star Wars film (presumably the second) would be directed by Josh Trank. Trank directed the 2012 sci-fi film Chronicle, and is helming the 2015 reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise. No writer was announced for this film, so it seems likely that the script will be handled by writers previously announced to be attached to new Star Wars films, Lawrence Kasdan (who wrote original trilogy films The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, along with many other films) and Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes).