Star Wars: The Force Awakens fever certainly hasn't simmered since its release four weekends ago. And fans are more excited for Star Wars: Episode VIII than ever. But we can expect that Disney and LucasFilm won't be releasing anything official about the sequel until the box office has died down enough to focus on a new movie. That's where rumors come in. Today, we have word on who might be playing the new female lead in the next chapter of this sci-fi saga. And no, it's not Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw was originally rumored to be up for the coveted female lead in Episode VIII, which is being written and directed by Rian Johnson. But the actress, best known for her roles in Jupiter Ascending and Beyond the Lights, is said to have turned the project down. Now, Meet the Movie Press are reporting that another 'indie sensation' is up for the unidentified role.
Winning praise for her performance in this year's The Diary of a Teenage Girl opposite Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgård, Bel Powley is believed to be on Disney and LucasFilm's most wanted list. She is reportedly up for the exact same role as Gugu Mbatha-Raw, which is being called a 'pivotal character'. Though, it is not known what kind of relationship this character has with other new characters such as Finn, Rey, Poe and Kylo Ren. The character is being referred to as a lead, so we're not sure how this new story thread will encroach on what has already been set up in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Bel Powley isn't the only actor in the running for this role, either. As previously reported, Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany was once said to be a favorite. Other potential actresses targeted for the role include Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez and Bates Motel breakout Olivia Cooke, who had her own indie hit this summer in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. It isn't known which of these woman are still in the running, if any.
None of this has ever been confirmed by Lucasfilm or Disney. So, for know, its all just one big rumor. That said, have you seen Bel Powley in The Diary of a Teenage Girl? Do you think she would make a nice addition to the Star Wars universe? Sound off in the comments section below.