By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com May 20, 2013 at 9:25AM
Now "Star Trek Into Darkness" is in theaters (to somewhat underwhelming grosses), JJ Abrams attention will now move exclusively (well, excluding the dozens of projects in the works at his company Bad Robot -- read about those here) toward "Star Wars Episode VII," his much-anticipated renewal of the OTHER geek-beloved space franchise. And with the film due for release in the summer of 2015, we should start to hear about new casting for the series, beyond what we already know -- e.g. that original central trio of Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are returning in some degree.
And while it's not official yet, word is coming in that the first new cast member might be an old collaborator of Abrams, as the normally-on-the-money Latino Review report that "The Tudors" star Jonathan Rhys Meyers is in talks to play a role in "Episode VII." Probably best-known for Todd Haynes' "Velvet Goldmine," Woody Allen's "Match Point" and for playing Henry VIII in "The Tudors," Rhys-Meyers was part of the IMF team in Abrams' "Mission Impossible III," so it certainly makes sense that Abrams might get him back for this new film.
There's no word on what role the actor, who'll next appear in "The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones" and in NBC's "Dracula" series, will be playing, but given his usual casting, we imagine it could well be a villain of some kind. Darth Rhys-Meyers? Perhaps. Again, there's nothing official here yet, so take it with the proverbial pinch of salt, but we don't imagine it'll be long before Lucasfilm and Abrams start revealing who else is set to don blasters and/or lightsabers, and head to a galaxy far, far away.
Meanwhile, Rhys-Meyers does have something solid lined up; according to Screen Daily, the actor will star in coming-of-age tale "London Town,' alongside Liv Tyler and Daniel Huttlestone (the adorable, ill-fated Gavroche in "Les Miserables"). The film, co-written by Kirsten Sheridan ("In America"), is about a teenage boy who receives a tape of The Clash's "White Riot" in the post from his estranged mother, and sets out to find her. The film will apparently shoot this summer, leaving Rhys-Meyers plenty of time to move over to the 'Star Wars' movie.