Shortlist for Star Wars: Episode VIII Female Lead Includes Tatiana Maslany and More!

Star Wars: Episode VIII casting continues 

Though we still have a few more months before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters, the pieces are already coming together for its follow-up, Star Wars: Episode VIIITheWrap brings word that casting is underway for the female lead of the film, with the shortlist including Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”), Golden Globe nominee and former “Rogue One” hopeful Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”), and Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl).

The outlet reports that the actresses are among a few other unnamed potentials auditioning for the role. They will take part in a chemistry-read with Star Wars: The Force Awakens star John Boyega by the end of the month. Production on the film is set to begin early next year.

Very little is known about the eighth “Saga” chapter of the hugely successful sci-fi fantasy franchise other than that Johnson is attached to both write and direct and Guardians of the Galaxy star Benicio Del Toro is confident he’ll appear as the villain. The film, set for release May 26, 2017, will be produced by Ram Bergman and Kathleen Kennedy and will follow both J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well as the franchise’s first “anthology” film, director Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will debut in theaters on December 18 and stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Anderson, Christina Chong and Miltos Yerolemou. After its release, we’ll have a much better grasp on who among that cast will be returning for Episode VIII.

(Photo credit: Brian To/Bridow/Mario Mitsis/