Rumor: ‘Star Wars: Episode 8’ Eyes ‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’ Breakout Star Bel Powley
Although it was previously rumored that Beyond the Lights breakout star Gugu Mbatha-Raw was in talks to star in Star Wars: Episode 8, it appears as though those talks didn’t quite pan out as another breakout star is now being rumored for the same role: Bel Powley, star of last year’s indie hit The Diary of a Teenage Girl, is reportedly being eyed for the same leading role.
That’s good and bad news as director Rian Johnson is said to have really wanted Mbatha-Raw for the lead role — as did we. But Powley is also an incredible rising star, and according to Jeff Sneider on Meet the Movie Press, she’s being eyed for the same leading role. Previously, Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’s Olivia Cooke and Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez were on Lucasfilm’s shortlist, with reports suggesting there are not one, but two female leading roles to be cast.
Since then, Cooke has been cast in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One and Rodriguez has joined Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson in Annihilation, the next sci-fi film from Ex Machina director Alex Garland. As for Maslany, she could still be in the running, though Sneider’s report makes no mention of her involvement, potential or otherwise.
Powley was phenomenal with her breakout role in the equally stunning and poignant The Diary of a Teenage Girl, promising big things for her future, Star Wars or no. As of now, we know that Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and John Boyega are reprising their parts for Episode 8, while remaining cast members — new and returning — have yet to be officially announced.
Star Wars: Episode 8 hits theaters on May 26, 2017.