And so it begins. Star Wars: The Force Awakens doesn’t hit theaters until this December, and we still have Rogue One to look forward to before we even get to Star Wars: Episode 8. But the first bit of real casting news around the film has arrived, as Benicio Del Toro has reportedly been offered the role of the villain in Episode 8, set to be directed by Rian Johnson.

The Wrap reports that Disney and Lucasfilm have offered the part to Del Toro, though the discussions are still in “very early stages.” Del Toro was originally cast in the role of Khan in J.J. AbramsStar Trek Into Darkness, but the actor ultimately left the project, replaced by Benedict Cumberbatch. Perhaps Abrams was so impressed by Del Toro’s brief time on the Enterprise that he recommended him to Johnson for Episode 8.

Episode 8 will begin shooting early next year for a May 26, 2017 release date. Plot details are currently unknown for the film, which is being written and directed by Johnson.

Del Toro recently played the delightful role of The Collector in Disney and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, though the actor has revealed that he’s unsure if his character will return for the sequel. In the meantime, he appears with Emily Blunt in Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming drug war drama Sicario, as well as Harmony Korine’s The Trap opposite Idris Elba.

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