‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Producers Consider Tatiana Maslany and Gina Rodriguez for New Female Lead


Casting for the female lead of Star Wars: Episode VIII has been narrowed to a small group of actresses, including Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany, Jane The Virgin star Gina Rodriguez and Bates Motel’s Olivia Cooke.

According to The Wrap, Episode VIII director Rian Johnson is currently casting the character, though it’s unclear whether the actors in question have been hewn from a long list or if they’re simply a few bigger names from a still-large pool.

Maslany, Rodriguez and Cookes’ resumes all lend themselves to the immensity of Star Wars in their own way. As the star(s) of Orphan Black, Maslany is already a familiar and beloved face among sci-fi fans. Rodriguez brings with her the hype from her surprise hit series, and has a Golden Globe under her belt. Olivia Cooke plays a smaller role than her competitors on her series, Bates Motel, but has big-screen cache after her turn in Sundance darling Me, Earl and The Dying Girl.

Interestingly, Maslany had also been on the shortlist for the female lead in upcoming Star Wars spin-off Rogue One, before director Gareth Edwards gave the role to Theory of Everything star Felicity Jones.

Though little is known about the character herself, rumor has it the actors may be asked to do a “chemistry reading” with The Force Awakens star John Boyega, implying a potential romantic connection. Whoever makes the cut will join Benicio Del Toro, who may also enter the Star Wars universe in Episode VIII as one of the film’s villains.

Star Wars: Episode: VIII is on track to hit theaters May 26, 2017.