Who and what does J.J. Abrams want now for Star Wars Episode VII?

Jesse Plemons

A slew of new Star Wars Episode VII casting rumors surfaced over the weekend, and some of them may even be true.

According to several reports, actors like Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Hugo Weaving (The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix), Adam Driver (Girls) and Jesse Plemons (Breaking Badare the latest to appear on the radar of Star Wars Episode VII director/co-writer J.J. Abrams.

Pay especially close attention to Plemons, who played Todd on the hit AMC crime drama. According to The Wrap, the 25-year-old actor reportedly submitted an audition tape that impressed everyone on the Star Wars team and will fly this week from his native Texas to Los Angeles to meet face to face with Abrams. He is said to be a "serious contender" for one of the movie's lead roles.

But the nature of the roles themselves, the one Plemons is up for and others, could be changing as well. Ever since initial screenwriter Michael Arndt was let go a few months back, Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan have been overhauling the script, dropping some characters and changing others.

In fact, the Hollywood Reporter claims that one of the reasons Arndt left the project was that his script focused on the children of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, while Abrams -- better hold onto something for this -- now apparently wants to make the original trio the center of the story.

That's right -- Abrams wants Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher as the leads in the film, with their offspring now the supporting roles. The threesome will get a final sendoff in Episode VII so that their characters' descendants can take center stage in Episode VIII and Episode IX.

That means a lot of young actors who auditioned over the past few months may be out of the casting mix. As for those other names mentioned earlier, like Fassbender, Driver and Weaving, they've all either met with or are meeting with Abrams, but the only one linked specifically to a character is Weaving, who is said to be up for the part of an Imperial commander (presumably out of work when the story starts).

Here's one more nugget for you: The filmmakers are also looking for a 20-ish woman, "either of mixed race or black," who could be a daughter or even granddaughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Funny, I don't recall Obi-Wan having any kids, do you?

Remember, all of this is firmly in the rumor category until Disney, Lucasfilm and/or Abrams make any of it official. But with filming scheduled to begin soon, the director needs to start locking down his cast and his script -- so don't be surprised if some of this ends up being confirmed.

In the meantime, what do you think of a Star Wars Episode VII with Luke, Han and Leia as the lead characters? And do any of these new casting rumors sound like they have the Force with them or push you toward the Dark Side? The debate starts now. 

Star Wars Episode VII opens on Dec. 18, 2015.

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