By Anthony Breznican
Updated July 20, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT
Credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi

  • Movie

The makers of Star Wars: Episode VIII have had conversations with Benicio Del Toro about a role as a new villain, but he is far, far away from joining the galaxy.

Other actors are also in the mix for the role, and there is no rush on either side to make a decision, EW has learned from several sources close to the films. How likely is it that the Traffic Oscar-winner will eventually sign on to the movie? From what EW has learned from those with knowledge of the early meetings, the answer can be summed up with this guy:


Reaction ranges from “maaaaaaybe,” with a question mark at the end, to “doubtful” with points of ellipses.

When the Star Wars films (or any movie, for that matter) come together, the makers tend to talk with many, many potential stars. The bigger the film, the more scrutiny those conversations get. But keep in mind, J.J. Abrams also met with 12 Years a Slave‘s Chiwetel Ejiofor about a role in The Force Awakens — among nearly every other high-profile actor — and sometimes those talks simply don’t go any further.

At a similar stage in the development of Star Trek Into Darkness, Del Toro was in talks to play Khan… a role that went to Benedict Cumberbatch.

The first report of Del Toro’s possible involvement came from The Wrap, which said he had been “offered” the role. Variety has since chimed in that Joaquin Phoenix is another possibility. (Fans may also remember when Phoenix was offered the lead in Marvel’s Doctor Strange… a role that went to Benedict Cumberbatch.)

What can a Star Wars fan trust? At this point, only that Episode VIII director and co-writer Rian Johnson is talking to some compelling possibilities for the next movie in the trilogy, which is set to hit theaters May 26, 2017.

Beyond that, we have to go with Yoda (again) on this one: “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.”

Maybe it’s time to see when Benedict Cumberbatch might be available?

Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Rian Johnson