Last weekend brought exciting news about the first Star Wars spinoff movie, Rogue One. We learned that the Gareth Edwards-directed film -- which has a confirmed star in Felicity Jones and a not-confirmed-but-likely star in Ben Mendelsohn -- will be set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and will tell the story of the group of rebels who banded together to steal the original Death Star plans from the Empire. It's an exciting story prospect, and now that the details of the plot are out, casting rumors are pouring in.
Today we got two new casting rumors for the film, and both are intriguing. First, Badass Digest reported that Riz Ahmed (Road to Guantanamo, Nightcrawler) will be joining the film in an unnamed role. It's not clear how big a part he'll have to play, but if the report is true, it's exciting. Ahmed is a very gifted actor who'll add some needed diversity to the Star Wars slate, but he's not the only new star rumored to be joining the film. Shortly after the Ahmed report surfaced, The Wrap reported that Sam Claflin is also "being eyed" for a starring role in the film. Audiences know him from genre tentpole works like Snow White and the Huntsman and The Hunger Games, and he's definitely got screen presence along with experience working in FX-driven flicks.
We already knew, via Edwards, that the film will likely be very war-driven, and focused on what life is like fighting for the fate of the galaxy without the aid of Jedi Knights, and now it's looking more and more like Rogue One will also be an ensemble piece. The Badass Digest report compares the casting to classics like The Dirty Dozen, which suggests a large cast full of people with different roles in the overall scheme to play, some of whom might not make it out alive. That makes this even more exciting, and in some ways unprecedented in Star Wars. Plus, since the film is set to begin shooting soon, it looks like we'll get confirmations on these casting rumors sooner rather than later.
Rogue One hits theaters Dec. 16, 2016.