‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ Looking to Cast ‘Nightcrawler’ Star Riz Ahmed in Lead Role
While we’ve been basking in the warm, loving glow of the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars: Rogue One has been quietly assembling its various components. First, Felicity Jones was cast in a lead role. Then Ben Mendelsohn supposedly joined the ensemble. Now, Riz Ahmed, who is probably best known for playing the straight face to Jake Gyllenhaal’s memorable craziness in Nightcrawler, is supposedly signing up.
The news comes to us from Badass Digest and was later confirmed by Variety. According to their sources, Rogue One will feature a large cast of characters in the Dirty Dozen and Magnificent Seven mold ... and many of them won’t live to see the credits roll. Since the film is about the team of Rebels who steal the plans to the Death Star prior to the events of the first Star Wars, we can assume that Ahmed will be playing one of the soldiers tasked with this suicide mission.
Although Nightcrawler was Ahmed’s biggest film yet (and he’s very good in it), he’s been acting for close to a decade, tackling serious drama in The Road to Guantanamo and silly comedy in Four Lions. He’s got serious chops and would be right at home in a new Star Wars universe that likes to cast exceptional actors like Oscar Isaac and John Boyega. Plus, he’d be the first Star Wars character of note to be played by an actor of Middle Eastern descent, which would be very cool indeed. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy was not screwing around when she talked about the importance of diversity in these movies during Star Wars Celebration.
Star Wars: Rogue One begins shooting this summer for a December 16, 2016 release date.
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