A few days after Disney CEO Bob Iger noted production has begun on Star Wars: Episode VIII, Lucasfilm has sent out an official press release announcing the sequel is now filming, and in the process, has officially revealed a trio of new cast members joining the saga.
A teaser video was posted by Lucasfilm that implies Episode VIII could begin right where The Force Awakens concluded – or at the very least in the same location:
While the actor himself had spoken about likely being in the film since last summer, this is the first time Lucasfilm has said that Benicio Del Toro (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Usual Suspects) is officially cast in Episode VIII. Joining him will be Laura Dern (Jurassic Park, Enlightened) and a relative newcomer, Kelly Marie Tran. Tran’s credits include a couple episodes of the NBC comedy About a Boy, along with the series Ladies Like Us and several College Humor originals.
Back in September, several actresses around Tran’s age range, including Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, Bates Motel’s Olivia Cooke and Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez, were said to be up for a role in Episode VIII, so it’s possible Tran was ultimately cast as whatever new character they were in contention for.
Not shockingly, details about the storyline of Episode VIII are being kept under wraps, along with who these new actors are playing, with the press release simply stating, “Rey took her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and will continue her epic journey with Finn, Poe, and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the continuing Star Wars saga, Star Wars: Episode VIII, which began principal photography at Pinewood Studios in London on February 15, 2016.”
Confirmed by Lucasfilm as returning for Episode VIII are Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis. Star Wars: Episode VIII, which is written and directed by Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper).