In what is the first closest thing we've had to an official cast member announcement, Adam Driver is reportedly in talks to play the villain in Star Wars: Episode VII. His character is described as being in the same vein as Darth Vader.
The 30 year old Driver is the first cast member being revealed by LucasFilm for the highly anticipated J.J. Abrams sequel, which hits theaters December 18, 2015. The movie is set to start filming this April at London's Pinewood Studios. Additional cast members are expected to be announced starting in March, with the first official press releases to come as early as next week.
Star Wars: Episode VII will continue where Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi left off in 1983, with a thirty year gap between stories. While Adam Driver had been rumored in recent weeks, it is clear that the Indiana native has become LucasFilm and Disney's top choice as the main villain. A delay in making the decision came when Adam Driver's Girls schedule caused conflicts with the Star Wars: Episode VII shooting schedule. It wasn't just the impending Girls Season 4 that was causing a problem, but future seasons as well, as the actor will be starring in Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX, and the schedules could collide.
Issues have recently been resolved, and an official announcement is expected before the end of this week.
J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan redrafted the movie after Michael Arndt turned in the initial draft last fall. The script rewrites are a cause of the delayed casting. Disney is said to have been looking at Michael Fassbender and Hugo Weaving for the villain role as well. The studio has not yet made any comment on the casting.
Adam Driver has become quite an in demand actor since taking on his Girls role. The actor is currently filming Midnight Special for Warner Bros., and is also attached to Martin Scorsese's Silence. He was also recently rumored to be in talks for the role of Nightwing, aka Robin, in Batman Vs. Superman. That obviously isn't happening now.
Disney is currently ramping up its Star Wars universe, which it bought from LucasFilm for $4 billion in October of 2012, with new theme park attractions, TV shows, and a full line of merchandise being prepped for the very near future.