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Rumor: Star Wars: Episode VIII Adds Two Female Leads—But Are They Heroes Or Villains?

Illustration for article titled Rumor: iStar Wars: Episode VIII/i Adds Two Female Leads—But Are They Heroes Or Villains?
Morning SpoilersIf there’s news about upcoming movies and television you’re not supposed to know, you’ll find it in here.

Plus Kathleen Kennedy explains the arc of the new Star Wars trilogy. Steven Moffat discusses ditching the Sonic Screwdriver on Doctor Who. Plus, Game of Thrones casting, Arrow teases some Legends of Tomorrow crossover, and what’s to come on Agents of SHIELD. Spoilers now!


Star Wars: Episode VIII

Speculation has been rampant recently about the film casting a new Female Lead, with a shortlist of actress including Tatiana Maslany, Gina Rodriguez, and Olivia Cooke allegedly auditioning in chemistry tests with John Boyega for the role of a female lead for the movie—but now a new rumor purports that another actor has been added to the list: Gugu Mbatha-Raw.


According to Latino-Review, Mbatha-Raw has not just joined the shortlist, but auditioned for the role already—and more interestingly, that the shortlist is no longer just for a single female role, but two substantial and important female roles in the film. No clue whether these two prominent female characters are heroes or villains.

As ever, treat this all as rumor until anything is acknowledged officially.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Speaking in an interview for the Costco Connection, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy discusses how the Skywalker family is the line that ties every Star Wars movie together:

The Saga films focus on the Skywalker family saga. The stories follow a linear narrative that connects to the previous six films. The Force Awakens follows Return of the Jedi and continues that generational story. The Anthology films offer opportunities to explore fresh characters, new storylines and a variety of genres inside the Star Wars universe.

This has led to renewed speculation that rather than being the daughter of Han Solo and Leia Organa, Rey is in fact secretly the daughter of Luke Skywalker, making her the connection to the “Skywalker saga”... failing to account for the fact that as Leia is the daughter of a Skywalker herself, so Rey could be Leia’s child and still be part of that generational legacy. [THR]


Mad Max: Fury Road and Batman v Superman collaborator Tom Holkenborg—better known by the stage name Junkie XL—has announced he will compose the film.


Power Rangers

Casting has begun for the film, and Variety has a shortlist of actors being considered for the roles of Red Ranger Jason, Black Ranger Zack, and Pink Ranger Kimberly.


Allegedly up for Jason are KJ Apa (Shortland Street), Austin Butler (The Shannara Chronicles) and Mitchell Hope, for Zack, Daniel Zovatto (It Follows), Ross Butler (Chasing Life) and Brian Marc and for Kimberly, Naomi Scott (The Martian) and Stephanie Scott.

The Boy Who Drew Monsters

Furious 7 director James Wan has been attached to produce and adaptation of the Keith Donohue novel about a young boy who draws pictures of monsters that come to life and terrorize his town. [/Film]


Star Trek Beyond

TMZ has a new series of pictures from filming, including what appears to be a new planet as well as images of the Enterprise set—the site speculates that the Enterprise is damaged or crashed, but there’s no real evidence for that theory in the photos. Head on over to the link to see the images.



R.L. Stine explains how he came into the possession of his monster-filled books in a new clip from the film.


Producer Wendy Mericle teases Neal McDonough as new villain Damien Dahrk:

Neal brings a very different energy and a very sort of — it’s both grounded and supremely confident. Malcolm Merlyn was a very confident villain but Malcolm was vulnerable and has suffered loss. Damian doesn’t have those vulnerabilities. He is absolutely dedicated to his mission. We really wanted to explore someone who is a bona fide sociopath and he has a god complex and Neal brings this kind of very interesting grounded energy but he has those eyes that when he wants to be a badass, it’s like he could kill you with a look. It’s a nice balance. It’s different than anything we’ve seen in the show in the past. He’s amazing. He really is. He’s a tremendous actor and a joy to have on set. He’s been amazing.



Emily Bett-Rickards discusses’ Felicity’s new role as Palmer Tech CEO in a new video interview.

Marc Guggenheim has revealed the title of the fourth season’s eighth episode: “Legends of Yesterday”, indicating a tie-in to Legends of Tomorrow will appear during it at some point.


Game Of Thrones

English actress Melanie Liburd has been cast in an undisclosed role on the show—however, she has been spotted in Peñíscola, Spain, where filming is taking place for scenes set in Mereen for the sixth season, leading to speculation that she has been cast as Kinvara, a Red Priestess who visits the city, a role that was recently auditioned for. [Watchers on the Wall]


Here’s a new image from the set at Peñíscola, complete with Targaryen heraldry—go to the link to see a few more, including images of Conleth Hill and Peter Dinklage filming. [Watchers on the Wall]


Doctor Who

A short synopsis for Season 9 Episode 5, “The Girl Who Died”, has been released:

Captured by Vikings, the Doctor and Clara must help protect their village from Space Warriors from the future: the Mire. Outnumbered and outgunned, their fate seems inevitable. So why is the Doctor preoccupied with a single Viking girl?


[Blogtor Who]

Steven Moffat discusses “embracing the heresy” of The Doctor ditching his Sonic Screwdriver for Sonic Sunglasses—hinting that the tool will eventually return to the show at some point.


Here’s a synopsis for 5 of the last episodes of the final season:

Episode 5.14 - New World Order

Dwight struggles to maintain order when Duke’s trouble wreaks havoc around town; at the same time, Audrey and Charlotte work together to drive away a mysterious fog that has everyone trapped in Haven

Episode 5.15 - Power

Desperate conditions in Haven lead to a terrified population that’s difficult for Dwight to maintain control over; at the same time, Nathan assembles a task force to restore power to the town; and Audrey tries to put an end to the trouble once and for all.

Episode 5.16 - The Trial of Nathan Wuornos

Dwight and Charlotte work to clear Nathan’s name when the citizens of Haven put the lawman on trial. Hoping to buy them time, the brothers Teagues moderate the courtroom proceedings, while Audrey continues her quest to solve the darkness troubles.

Episode 5.17 - Enter Sandman

Dwight and Charlotte work on a way to free Audrey from the Sandman’s stasis before he can trap her in his mind forever; at the same time, Duke tries to help Darkside Seeker Seth Byrne recover his memories of Haven.

Episode 5.18 - Wild Card

Charlotte and Audrey work on a new plan; Dwight and Nathan investigate a threat; the Teagues try to identify the serial killer.


[Spoiler TV]


CBS have renewed the show for a second season. [Spoiler TV]

Once Upon A Time

Here’s a short synopsis for episode 3, “Siege Perilous”:

A royal ball is held in Camelot, but a dark turn of events forces David and Robin to take action. Meanwhile, Regina’s fortitude is tested as she tries to safeguard Emma; and back in Storybrooke, Hook attempts to bring Emma back to the light.


[Spoiler TV]

American Horror Story: Hotel

Wes Bentley’s Detective John Lowe is the focus of this new short promo for the show.

The Flash

The CW’s countdown to the premiere continues in two new trailers:

A gallery of photos from “The Flash of Two Worlds” has been released—go to the link to see more. [Spoiler TV]

Illustration for article titled Rumor: iStar Wars: Episode VIII/i Adds Two Female Leads—But Are They Heroes Or Villains?

Agents Of SHIELD

And here’s a gallery of images from “A Wanted (Inhu)man”—go to the link to see more. [Comic Book]

Illustration for article titled Rumor: iStar Wars: Episode VIII/i Adds Two Female Leads—But Are They Heroes Or Villains?
Illustration for article titled Rumor: iStar Wars: Episode VIII/i Adds Two Female Leads—But Are They Heroes Or Villains?


Finally, a gallery of photos from “The Last Laugh”—you can see more at the link. [Spoiler TV]

Illustration for article titled Rumor: iStar Wars: Episode VIII/i Adds Two Female Leads—But Are They Heroes Or Villains?

Additional reporting by Gordon Jackson and Charlie Jane Anders. Image: Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


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No clue whether these two prominent female characters are heroes or villains.

Yey I am always excited for more women being added. Perhaps they have realized female characters don’t ruin sci fi as some would have you think. Stars Wars certainly could use more great female characters and Rey and Phasma were a good start.