Now that we know who the villains are in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, its time to look ahead towards Star Wars: Episode VIII. Although the film won’t be released until 2017, it is surmised that John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Daisy Ridley will return to reprise their respective roles for the subsequent sequels. However, we aren’t sure about the villains. Comic-Con revealed that Domnall Gleeson would play General Hux, a high ranking military officer in the newly established First Order, with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) working under him, though it is unclear if they will appear in sequels.
But as with almost every sequel, new characters are introduced into the mythology. Though we may not know the new characters that will be appearing in Episode VIII, there are reports stating that Benicio Del Toro (Traffic, Guardians of the Galaxy) is being offered a villain role in the film. LucasFilm and Disney are also keen on getting Joaquin Phoenix in a Star Wars film.
More on these stories below.
The Wrap was the first to report on the news of the Del Toro casting. According to them, the two studios are in the early stages of negotiation, and both are very interested in casting an A-list actor. However, without knowing the plot of The Force Awakens or how it will end, it is unclear how this new villain will be connected to the Star Wars universe.
Though Variety also mentions Del Toro in their report, they add that the studios have also been talking to Joaquin Phoenix for the same villain role. Disney and LucasFilm may be taking a different approach this time, since Disney and Marvel failed to get him for the title role in Doctor Strange.
While Del Toro’s The Collector survived the events in Guardians of the Galaxy, the actor has indicated he might not return to reprise his role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
This isn’t the first time that Del Toro has been offered a villain role in a big-budget film. He was once up for the role of Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness before negotiations fell through, with Benedict Cumberbatch playing as the main villain.
Rian Johnson will write and direct the untitled Star Wars: Episode VIII, which is expected to begin production early next year. Ram Bergman (Brick) is producing the film with Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy. The film is expected to be released May 26th, 2017.