Towards the tail end of last week, two rumours appeared online, which led to excitement, speculation and confusion from pockets of various Star Wars fans. Usually I wouldn’t cover these sort of rumours, as you know I only cover rumours, leaks, news etc. from people and outlets I consider to be very reliable with great track records. There’s been some truly outlandish rumours over the past week or so that I will not tackle or give any thought to as they’re absolutely ridiculous and don’t deserve my time, nor yours. However, I’m covering and giving my thoughts on two rumours that comes from outlets some consider to be reliable and that many followers and readers have got in touch with me about.
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Let’s start things off with the rumour that Idris Elba, the British actor who’s appeared in high profile films such as Thor: Ragnarok, Fast and Furious presents: Hobbs and Shaw and the critically acclaimed TV series, Luther, is going to star in the upcoming New Jedi Order movie being written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders) and directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Ms. Marvel) which will be led by Daisy Ridley’s Rey Skywalker. The rumours claims that Idris’ role is that of the villain of the flick.
The rumour originated from Giant Freakin’ Robot and the Twitter account, MyTimeToShineHello. I’m familiar with the Twitter account and have seen them get reports correct in the past, mostly in the Marvel Studios realm and I’ve also seen them release incorrect reports. However just because a person or outlet does well or specialises in reporting accurate information from one franchise, it doesn’t mean they’ll have accurate information for another. Time will always prove you to be right or wrong. As for GFR, they’ve had accurate reports in the past for sure, one that springs to mind in fairly recent times is they were the first to report that Kurt Russell (The Thing) was going to star in the Apple TV+ Godzilla series, but they’ve also have a plethora of unproven and/or inaccurate reports. However in this case, I do not believe the reports of Elba being cast as the villain of Rey movie at this time and I’ll explain my reasons as to why.
We’re currently in the midst of a Writers Guild of America strike which has unquestionably slowed down the industry. Back in April, Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, revealed that Steven Knight, the writer of the New Jedi Order movie, was expected to submit his draft by mid-May. The WGA strike began on May 1st, a couple of weeks ahead of when Kennedy claimed the draft would be submitted, and it’s unknown at this time if Knight was able to submit his draft ahead of the start of the strike and thus two weeks earlier than when Kennedy said it was due. It’s possible he could have, but he’s not allowed to be working on the project during this period, which does not have an end in sight. It’s also unusual cast around unwritten characters and given the extremely short amount of time Knight has seemingly been working on the project, around two months, it’s unlikely the villain character would have been flashed out and developed – especially if the script is taking a massive departure from what the previous writers of the movie, Damon Lindelof (Watchmen) and Justin Britt-Gibson (Into the Badlands), reportedly envisioned which is rumoured to have featured an eighty year old Rey Skywalker in a more supporting role with the leads being her two students.
Another thing to remember in regards to the Rey led film is that it was previously reported by journalist and insider, Jeff Sneider, that casting for the flick wasn’t due to begin until August, and this was before the WGA strike began. At that point, Knight would’ve already submitted his first draft and would have likely have been deep into his second, with a clearer vision of the story and characters being developed. However the WGA strike did happen and is ongoing which has paused many productions and delayed various parts of the filming making process including casting. Recently HBO paused the casting process of the second season of its hit series, The Last of Us, due to the ongoing strike.
It’s all these reasons which lead me to believe that Idris Elba has not been cast as the villain in the New Jedi Order movie at this time. Perhaps there’s been early discussions internally at Lucasfilm, maybe he’s being looked at as the prototype of actor for the character. Idris is a very talented actor and would be a welcome addition to the galaxy far, far away.
The second and final rumour we’re addressing once again comes from the Twitter account, MyTimetoShineHello. The user took to Twitter and joked about Kim Kardashian being cast as Mara Jade in a live-action Star Wars project. They then followed up this tweet alleging that Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige, was using a burner account to follow MyTime and added that they’d joked about the Kardashian casting as Feige is looking to add Mara Jade to his Star Wars movie.
I’m sure many of my readers are very familiar with the character of Mara Jade, but for those you aren’t, she appeared in various Star Wars legends novels, most notably the beloved Thrawn trilogy, where it was revealed that she was once a special agent of Emperor Palpatine, known as the Emperor’s hand, and later married Luke Skywalker, with the two birthing a son in Ben Skywalker. Jade is a very well known and notorious character from the legends era, with fans hoping to see her come into canon at some point.
Personally I don’t believe that Kevin Feige is actively working on his Star Wars film and hasn’t for quite some time. Feige was announced to be producing and developing a film in a galaxy far, far away back in 2019 and hired Michael Waldron (Loki) to pen the project last year, but Waldron became too busy with Avengers: Secret Wars. Jeff Sneider reported that the Feige film was no longer in development which was followed up by Variety also stating the Feige project was no longer being developed and back in April, Kathleen Kennedy revealed that Feige’s flick didn’t get developed and that the Marvel Studios president never discussed an idea with her. It’s been widely reported that Feige is busier than ever with Marvel Studios, with the studio releasing more content than ever before and in more recent times experiencing dwindling box office returns, more disappointing critical reception than before and various projects dividing the opinions of its fan base. Since then it’s Marvel Studios have been hiring more experienced writers for its projects, taking more time in the post-production process, and attempting to creature more quality of quantity projects.
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