*An Oxford-educated actress with zero movie credits to her name is suddenly being buzzed about today as the front-runner for a key role in “Star Wars: Episode VII.”
Multiple Hollywood trade outlets are reporting on newcomer Maisie Richardson-Sellers may fill that role. “Several sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that she is in line to nab an undisclosed and possibly major role in the high-profile Disney/Lucasfilm production, which is in the middle of an extended casting search in London in advance of a May production start date,” THR posted this morning.
One of the roles yet to be filled is that of a young black or mixed-race woman who may be a descendent of Jedi Knight Ben Kenobi. In the film, which takes place 30 years after the events of 1983’s “Star Wars: Episode III: Return of the Jedi,” the character would cross paths with the children of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. (Original “Star Wars” actors Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are expected to reprise their roles, as is Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca.)
“Star Wars” filmmaker J.J. Abrams and his casting directors have seen hundreds of actors for the coveted lead roles. The operation is taking place under a cloak of secrecy, with actors and their representatives sworn to secrecy. At the same time, certain representatives have taken to quietly promoting around Hollywood their clients’ involvement in the casting process, given the extreme level of interest in the project and the belief that the actors who land lead roles will become instant global stars.
As such, all casting speculation must be taken with a grain of salt, and two sources say Richardson-Sellers has not been offered a role. But industry buzz has begun to coalesce around the British actress, an Oxford student who has appeared on stage in such plays as For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide, Mephisto and There Will Be Red.