By Drew Taylor | The Playlist July 24, 2013 at 8:31PM
Well, this should be par for the course, especially in the weeks leading up to D23, the annual Disney fan convention (basically their version of San Diego Comic-Con), where Lucasfilm is expected to have a heavy presence, but hey—here's some wild speculation about who will wind up in J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII"! According to Latino Review, two stars who have had meetings with the Mouse House in regards to 'Star Wars' are none other than Ryan Gosling and former Disney whiz kid Zac Efron. No word on who Efron read for, but Gosling supposedly spoke about becoming a part of the Skywalker family as Luke's son. Also they claim that Leonardo DiCaprio met with the team but was ruled out. Okay then.
A couple of things to consider—first off, Gosling supposedly wants to scale back his time in front of the camera. A recent Vulture piece lamented what will inevitably be a long period of Gosling-less cinema, pointing to an AP interview where the unreasonably handsome star of "Only God Forgives" said, " I think it's good for me to take a break and reassess why I'm doing it and how I'm doing it. And I think this is probably a good way to learn about that. I need a break from myself as much as I imagine the audience does." Signing on to the first in an expected trilogy of films, movies that will further expose you to audiences worldwide, isn't exactly lowering your profile in the way Gosling suggested.
Unless the script is amazing, which it very well could be given the raw talent of screenwriter Michael Arndt and the fact that he's based his entire screenwriting career on tenants he learned from the original "Star Wars," this seems like a space-aged pipe dream. (Gosling's own franchise—a reboot of "Logan's Run" for Warner Bros.—seems far from a done deal, too.) And if Gosling was cast, we imagine that he'd be better suited for the "lovable rogue" character, someone in the mold of Han Solo. This was the kind of character that was desperately missing from the prequels and, with or without a return from Han Solo, the series will need. Who better to do it than Gosling, or as he's known around some parts, Prettyface O'Gorgeous.
Efron is a more believable contender, and not just because of his past relationship with Disney. His career, despite wonderful turns in films as varied as Broadway musical adaptation "Hairspray" and Richard Linkleter's micro-drama "Me and Orson Welles," hasn't be able to catch much heat on his own, but a supporting role in a big time movie like this would do wonders. It's just impossible to gauge the importance of this kind of meeting, considering countless young men are undoubtedly chatting with Abrams and Disney about the possibility of becoming part of the franchise. The rumor about DiCaprio isn't even worth analyzing—so he maybe met with them but now is out of the race? How would anyone prove any of that? It's like trying to hold a whisper in your hand.
It's also probably good to keep in mind that this is coming from Latino Review, the folks who swore up and down (while outside the damn building) that Marvel was launching a huge "Plant Hulk"/"World War Hulk" multi-film series, which turned out to be totally false. So take it with a grain of salt, as more needless speculation will continue leading up to the D23 convention August 9th – 11th.
We'll be at D23 and bringing you actual information as it unfolds (imagine that).