A Really Great Actor Might Join Felicity Jones in 'Star Wars' Spinoff 'Rogue One'

Thursday, 26 March 2015 07:37 Written by  iamrogue
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A Really Great Actor Might Join Felicity Jones in 'Star Wars' Spinoff 'Rogue One'

The second Star Wars movie of the Disney era, next year's Rogue One, is circling its second lead actor, and between the already-cast Felicity Jones and the soon-to-be-cast Ben Mendelsohn, this standalone Star Wars clearly isn't playing second fiddle to the main saga.

This year, Disney's first adventure in a galaxy far, far away restarts that main saga with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, then Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII continues that primary story in summer 2017.  Between those two, though, there's the spinoff Rogue One directed by Gareth Edwards.  And between Episodes VIII and IX, there's a 2018 standalone directed by Josh Trank.

As Rogue One gears up to shoot this summer, Edwards is filling up his cast.  Oscar-nominee Jones is already on board as the main character, and now Deadline reports the one and only Mendelsohn appears to be Lucasfilm's choice for another major role in the spinoff.

You probably don't recognize him by name, but Mendelsohn has been one of the most underappreciated actors out there for the last several years.  He's currently tearing it up with a standout performance as Coach Taylor's brother on the acclaimed Netflix series Bloodline

The Australian actor came to stateside attention with a supporting turn in the great Aussie slow-burn Animal Kingdom, and since then he's been absolutely crushing it with sly, layered turns in The Place Beyond the Pines, Killing Them Softly (see the bottom of this page), and even The Dark Knight Rises.  He even memorably played Jessa's dad in an episode of Girls.

Apparently an offer to star in Rogue One is not yet on the table, but Mendelsohn has met with the filmmakers.  If he does end up starring, he'll reunite with The Dark Knight Rises unit production manager Simon Emanuel, who is an executive producer on this mysterious Star Wars project.

Emanuel executive produces alongside Jason McGatlin and John Knoll, the Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor of all three Star Wars prequels who also whipped the Rogue One story.  The screenplay has seen work from Gary Whitta, with American Pie co-director Chris Weitz now handling scripting duties.  IAR recently talked to Weitz about it in an exclusive interview.

So it looks like Rogue One is two-for-two on casting.  But then again, Edwards also assembled a formidable cast for his Godzilla reboot, and mostly they had to play cardboard characters burdened with endless exposition.

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