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The shortlist for actors to play a heroic role in Star Wars: Episode VII is now reportedly down to five actors. Breaking Bad actor Jesse Plemons, who was linked to the project in January, is still in the running.
Sources for Variety said Wednesday that Plemons is among a group of actors who are among director J.J. Abrams’ top picks for a Jedi role. The other four are Ed Speleers (Downton Abbey); John Boyega (Attack of the Block); and theater actors Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher.
Episode VII is moving a bit slower at this point, since Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan have had to go back and rewrite Michael Arndt's script. Arndt reportedly focused on Han Solo and Princess Leia’s children, while Abrams has put them in a supporting role. Still, it’s likely that Disney is looking for an actor who can be the face of a franchise for future films.
Variety is also reporting that Abrams and the casting directors are looking into casting actors who are not Caucasian. Like his Star Trek cast, Abrams is hoping to bring diversity to the Star Wars universe.
Disney and Lucasfilm have yet to confirm any casting news. Last month, it was widely reported that Girls actor Adam Driver will be taking the lead villain role in the film.
Episode VII is still scheduled for Dec. 18, 2015.