If you thought the Star Wars: Episode VII rumors were flying around at a fast pace before, it's only picked up as production inches closer. The difference is these stories are coming from reputable sources with hard info, not random blogs following a hunch, and after word broke recently that Jesse Plemons is in talks for a lead role, THR has just dropped a mountain of new information.
The site not only confirms Plemons for a meeting with J.J. Abrams about a role throughout the trilogy, but also mentions Michael Fassbender, Hugo Weaving, and Adam Driver as among those being considered. Weaving apparently met to play an Imperial commander, but since nothing is set in stone we can just add them all to the lengthy list of possibilities that includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael B. Jordan, Saoirse Ronan, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Driver seems to be something of a Disney favorite, at least as far as rumors go, as he also mentioned for a Nightwing role in Man of Steel 2.
There's far more to the story than just casting, however, as the trade reveals screenwriter Michael Arndt's recent departure had nothing to do with scheduling, but conflicts over the story's focus. That has led Abrams and fellow co-writer Lawrence Kasdan to go in a different direction, one that focuses on the original trio of Luke, Han, and Leia in order to give them "a fitting send-off". Their children would be in supporting roles, at least for the first movie, and presumably will take over the rest of the way. So it sounds as if Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher will be turning up only to wrap up their characters' storylines, sell a few million action figures for Disney, then fly off into the Corellian sunset.
Apparently the script is still evolving, too, and characters are changing in just about every respect. That means some of the actors who read for parts earlier, such as Mud star Tye Sherdian, are no longer in the picture because that character has been aged up considerably. A mixed-race or African-American female in her 20s is also being sought to play the possible daughter or granddaughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Who knew Ob-Wan had 'Dagobah Fever'?
Expect more news to come. Star Wars: Episode VII opens December 18th 2015.