Diego Luna in Star Wars spin-off Rogue One
As production on Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars spin-off, Rogue One, gets closer to the start line, casting has begun to ramp up. The latest actor to jump into the cockpit is apparently Diego Luna, who Variety reports will join Felicity Jones in the story of the Rebel raid to steal plans for the first Death Star. Luna’s reps and Lucasfilm didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Right now, only Jones is officially on board. But as Variety notes, Nightcrawler breakout Riz Ahmed and Bloodline‘s Ben Mendelsohn (who will supposedly portray Rogue One‘s main villain) are also expected to co-star. (Sam Claflin is another actor rumored to feature in the cast.)
At Star Wars Celebration last month, Edwards expressed his intention to put the “war” back in Star Wars, comparing the film’s military-heavy action to Black Hawk Down. (Indeed the film’s cinematographer, Greig Fraser, shot Zero Dark Thirty.) Another stand-alone film, which Josh Trank had been hired to direct, was thrown into turmoil when Trank left the project earlier this month. That movie, which sources tell EW is a Boba Fett-led bounty hunter team-up, is now in the market for a new filmmaker.
Another spin-off film previously in development was a young Han Solo story, but that project has been bumped back to avoid confusion with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Harrison Ford will reprise his role as a lead character in J.J. Abrams film in December, and executives were concerned about the appearance of “rebooting” the character with the first stand-alone film in the very next year.
Star Wars: Rogue One is currently scheduled to hit theaters on Dec. 16, 2016.
The Boba Fett film isn’t expected until at least 2018, after the release of Looper director Rian Johnson’s The Force Awakens follow-up, the as-yet-untitled Star Wars: Episode VIII.
Anthony Breznican contributed to this report.