‘Orphan Black’ and ‘Jane the Virgin’ stars among lead shortlist for ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’

Orphan Black S03E08

With The Force Awakens just months away, the next director in the new Star Wars trilogy is eying a new female lead.

According to The Wrap, Gina Rodriguez of Jane the Virgin, Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black, and Olivia Cooke of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl are being sought for a female lead role in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII. Looper director Rian Johnson is taking over the movie from J.J. Abrams.

Maslany is no stranger to Star Wars with the actress allegedly being on the shortlist for Rogue One before Felicity Jones won the part. She has been flirting with making the jump from TV to movies lately and she seems like the most logical choice amongst the three due to her sci-fi roots and the fact that the producers seem already interested in her if she tried for another part.

Rodriguez is on the rise after her performance in Jane the Virgin, but it is too early to tell if this is something she would fit in with. She hasn’t had that many credits outside of the CW show, but is also a talented actress who could bring some comedic chops to the galaxy far, far away.

Cooke is another rising starlet after her performance in the Sundance hit. She is also a star on Bates Motel and seems to be looking at making a jump to big-budget features. The Wrap also points out that she is on another shortlist for Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One in the lead female role.

This also begs the question whether Daisy Ridley’s character from The Force Awakens will be returning since the article mentions the actresses doing a screen test with John Boyega. Maybe Ridley isn’t a love interest in the first film and one of these actresses will be taking over that role in the new one. Or maybe she is just appearing in one film and could be done after The Force Awakens.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18 while Episode VIII opens in 2017.

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