Mbatha-Raw Up For “Star Wars: Episode VIII”

Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Belle,” “Beyond the Lights”) has reportedly joined the casting mix for Rian Johnson’s upcoming “Star Wars Episode VIII”.

Latino Review broke the story which says that she’s actually already auditioned for the film, and joins a shortlist that includes Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”), Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”) and Olivia Cooke (“Ouija”).

There’s a twist though. The site says these actresses are all being considered for not one but two major roles in the film, meaning maybe two of those names might be scoring one hell of a new screen credit in the near future.

This follows on from a report earlier this week that Mbatha-Raw’s name recently made the shortlist for the female lead in “Robin Hood: Origins” starring Taron Egerton.

Some filming on “Star Wars: Episode VIII” has already taken place, but the majority of the shoot is expected to happen early next year ahead of a May 2017 release.

In related news, actor Tim Rose – who famously played the squid-like Admiral Ackbar in 1983’s “Return of the Jedi” – seems to be returning for the upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

Speaking with AAP (via The Australian), Rose revealed he is rather frustrated at the amount of secrecy surrounding the film:

“I’m very frustrated by that. Out of the need to be secret, we’re not actually able to get everything we need to do our jobs as well as we could, and as someone who has been doing it for 35 years, I find it very frustrating.”

He does go on to praise the film itself though: “What I can say about the new movie is that if you were a fan of the original three, you’re going to absolutely love this one to bits.”