Discussions are apparently in the early stages, but The Wrap is reporting that Benicio Del Toro is at the top of the list for a villain role in Star Wars: Episode VIII. This is the one where the series goes all Mel Brooks for a moment and creates a character made completely out of money (the kids will love him or her). Rian Johnson is reportedly helming the film and there’s not much else to go on at the moment concerning the type of character he’d be playing.
This would be a quick return to the sci-fi realm for Del Toro following his turn as The Collector in Guardians of the Galaxy (and many more Marvel Comics films to come, most likely). Variety provides a little background on the casting process, including another name contacted for a role:
A deal is still far away from coming together and who exactly Del Toro will be playing is unknown, but insiders say the studio was going after A-list talent for the role, also meeting Joaquin Phoenix for the part…
Del Toro was previously considered for the bad guy in another major franchise: Khan in “Star Trek Into Darkness.” Though negotiations fell through, Del Toro recently appeared as The Collector in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
You can’t go wrong with Del Toro, usually. He actually made Savages a worthwhile movie, his performance as The Collector is just weird enough to make a kooky Marvel villain seem interesting, and he’s been in some of the greatest crime movies of all time in The Usual Suspects and Traffic. Give him an eye patch, a blaster and maybe some bad ass droid voiced by Stephen Baldwin (since we don’t want to get too crazy here). Then work this in: