We reported earlier this month that Star Wars: Episode VIII was delayed, with production set to begin next month and the studio moving the release date from May 26, 2017 to December 15, 2017. Even though production will begin soon, we still don't have a confirmed cast list for the sequel yet, although we did learn over the weekend that one Star Wars: The Force Awakens star will return, with Gwendoline Christie confirming that she will return as Captain Phasma. Here's what she had to say in an interview with People.
"I will be in the next Star Wars movie. I think that's an exclusive, actually. I was very overexcited. I made no secret of the fact that I really campaigned for the part for a long time. And then I was delighted when J.J. Abrams wanted to have me in the film and then wanted to cast me in this role that had originally been designed for a man."
Last week, we reported that Captain Phasma's original costume design was originally intended for Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), but the design was shot down by J.J. Abrams. After producer Kathleen Kennedy came across the design, the director created the Captain Phasma character specifically based on this design, but the role was originally intended for a male actor before Gwendoline Christie was cast. While it was assumed that Phasma would return in the sequel, we never got any confirmation of this until now.
While no actors have been confirmed for Star Wars: Episode VIII yet, Star Wars: The Force Awakens stars Daisy Ridley (Rey), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Leia), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), and John Boyega (Finn) are expected to return. Benicio Del Toro has also been rumored to play the main villain in this highly-anticipated sequel, but with production begin delayed to February, it's possible we still may not get a confirmed cast list anytime soon. Since the early footage was shot at Skellig Michael Island, many assume that the movie will take place directly after Rey meets Luke Skywalker at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but we don't know for sure quite yet.
Star Wars: Episode VIII will now be going up against Warner Bros.' Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg, on December 15, 2017. It wouldn't be surprising if that adaptation, which stars Olivia Cooke and Ben Mendelsohn, shifts its release date in the weeks and months ahead. Many fans were overjoyed that the Star Wars franchise was returning to its roots with a May release date for Star Wars: Episode VIII, but now we'll have to wait a few months longer before this sequel hits theaters. Are you excited that Captain Phasma is coming back in the sequel?