By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist November 4, 2013 at 9:25AM
J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan may be pouring enormous effort into retooling writer Michael Arndt's original draft of “Star Wars: Episode VII," but after Disney's refusal of producer Kathleen Kennedy's request to consequently delay production, Abrams and co. are forced to also push right ahead with locking a cast to deliver it. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher have already been involved in negotiations to return, but more curious are the new faces to the “Star Wars” universe, and the latest one rumored is an exciting prospect triggered by an uncertain sighting.
The Bad Robot offices are likely a hotbed of curiosity for any outside visitor, each closed door marking an intriguing possibility that some key concept art or audition tape is being created inside. As The Times (via The Telegraph) recently discovered en route to an interview with Abrams, even the facility's lobby is a holding room for intriguing possibilities; they spotted Chiwetel Ejiofor waiting in it, and later questioned Abrams on the possible “Star Wars” connection. The writer/director's response? “I can't discuss casting…but [Ejiofor] is a very talented gentleman”.
Placing the “12 Years A Slave” actor within the franchise would certainly draw praise, as well as launch Ejiofor onto an international platform that he's heading for anyways. But before fan sketches pop up online of him cloaked in Jedi robes, let us remember that the Bad Robot lobby leads to many rooms and appointments (one of them may be “Morning Glory 2”), and Abrams makes it a mantra to seemingly have close to 50 projects active at any one point. So for now, we'll call it a promising meeting between two massive talents, similar to the rumors of Benedict Cumberbatch and Saoirse Ronan thus far. But, you can read into Ejiofor's facial expressions below when he responds to a hypothetical "Star Wars" casting query, by saying: "Well, we'll see if it happens, I'm not going to tell you."
Adding onto the pile though is news that Harrison Ford, after much reported delays in deciding whether to reprise his role of Han Solo in “Episode VII," is now headed not only for the 2015 film but also future installments. A source at Jedi News claims that "Ford wanted to see the synopsis for his character's development over more than just Episode VII,” which he saw in August and liked. "Disney wanted a multi film deal with Ford which transcends Episode 7. This has now been agreed."
While we wait for actual confirmation on who might show up in Abrams' franchise entry, why not turn it over to the DC Universe where a bit of speculation has been brewing as well. Actress Jaimie Alexander, who appears in Marvel's latest “Thor” sequel as the character Sif, dropped some interesting comments during a Comikaze con panel: first—when asked about a Marvel-DC crossover film—she revealed that she's taken meetings with “both companies,” and also that she has confidence in Ben Affleck's Batman portrayal in “Batman vs. Superman” because she “kind of knows the story line for that movie.”
“I would love for DC to put Wonder Woman in one of their upcoming flicks, either in her own movie or Batman vs. Superman, or just something even to introduce her,” she elaborated to Forbes adding: “Being in the comic book world, we know a lot of the same people at DC and Marvel, so we hear a lot of things, but it’s all speculation right now. But I would absolutely love that [Wonder Woman appearing in one of the upcoming films]. Thankfully and gratefully, I’m appreciative to the people who ask my opinion of the character, and that’s been pretty amazing.”
Hmm... Feel free to put on your Bat-speculation belt. However, you can catch her in a superhero trial run as “Thor: The Dark World” hits U.S. cinemas next weekend.