Update: Collider exclusively reports that Gugu Mbatha-Raw has been cast in Star Wars: Episode 8. Earlier this evening, THR reported that Tatiana Maslany is in talks to join Jake Gyllenhaal in Boston Marathon movie Stronger, likely taking her out of the running for Episode 8. We’re still waiting to learn if another actress will join the cast, as the original story (below) indicates that there are two female lead roles in Episode 8. The news of Mbatha-Raw’s casting is fantastic, though it has yet to be confirmed by Disney or Lucasfilm.

Original story continues below…

First revealed a few weeks ago, the lead actress shortlist for Star Wars: Episode 8 includes Tatiana Maslany, Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez, and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’s Olivia Cooke. That’s a pretty solid list, but a new rumor suggests that another name has been added to it: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, star of last year’s incredibly powerful music drama Beyond the Lights.

Latino Review reports that Mbatha-Raw has joined the shortlist for Star Wars: Episode 8 and goes one further by suggesting that the talented actress has already auditioned for a part. Mbatha-Raw’s addition makes this an even more exciting and diverse shortlist. There are reportedly not one, but two leading roles for women in Episode 8, and both parts are sharing the same list of contenders, which means two of the four women may very well join the cast.

Cooke seems less likely considering she recently signed on to star in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ready Player One. In addition to Rodriguez and Mbatha-Raw, Maslany is also an exciting choice given the range, versatility and action chops she’s showcased on Orphan Black. Cooke, Maslany and Rodriguez have already tested with The Force Awakens star John Boyega.

Mbatha-Raw made a huge impression last year with roles in Belle and Beyond the Lights, and she appeared earlier this year in Jupiter Ascending. She’ll be seen next opposite Will Smith in the NFL drama Concussion, and it was recently reported that she’s being considered for a lead role opposite Taron Egerton in Robin Hood: Origins.

Rian Johnson is writing and directing Star Wars: Episode 8, which also stars Benicio Del Toro in a role that may or may not be villainous (the actor has been playing a bit coy about his part). The film hits theaters on May 26, 2017.

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