Since its announcement two weeks ago, there’s been a lot of hype surrounding the first of the Star Wars franchise spin-offs, Rogue One. Currently, the only confirmed star for the film is Felicity Jones, but there’s a new rumor floating around that a man of method may soon be joining the roster.
Word is that Ben Mendelsohn is circling a lead role alongside Felicity Jones in Rogue One, the Star Wars spinoff to be directed by Gareth Edwards.
Ben Mendelsohn would certainly be a great choice for Star Wars, but more importantly, it’s yet another indication of the kind of stars Lucasfilm is interested in. Like its Disney counterpart, Marvel, Lucasfilm seems hell bent on casting for talent over name recognition. This is most likely because they want the characters and franchise to be the thing on people’s minds, not the lead actors.
Compare the Star Wars and Marvel casting to the likes of DC/Warner Bros., for example. The upcoming Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are full of big name talent like Will Smith and Ben Affleck. There are no real unknowns floating around in those films. As such, they become less about the characters and more about the actors. While that may work in some ways, for major properties like Star Wars, there are times the better move might be to throw character actors into the mix that can truly disappear into the roles they’re taking on.