Benicio Del Toro And Laura Dern Officially On Board For Star Wars: Episode VIII


After months of back and forth, Guardians of the Galaxy star Benicio Del Toro is officially on board for Star Wars: Episode VIII – with Laura Dern to boot.

Disney and Lucasfilm made the announcement earlier today, noting that up-and-comer Kelly Marie Tran will have a small, unspecified role in Rian Johnson’s sci-fi sequel.


Indeed, that’s the case for Dern and Del Toro’s involvement as well, though earlier reports have indicated that the latter has been cast as the film’s chief villain. How exactly that purported big bad will filter into the overarching narrative of Disney’s rebooted universe – particularly considering Kylo Ren and Andy Serkis’ Supreme Leader Snoke – remains to be seen. Will he, for instance, be a member of the First Order? Or a rogue bounty hunter in the vein of Boba Fett?

As for Dern and Marie Tran, their addition could effectively dispel any speculation that Gina Rodriguez and/or Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) were in contention to clinch a lead part. Olivia Cooke, meanwhile, has all but fallen off Disney’s radar to headline recently delayed adaptation, Ready Player One.

With the cameras now officially rolling, Star Wars: Episode VIII is on course to hit theaters on December 15, 2017. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, on the other hand, is penciled in for a release on May 5 of next year, where Del Toro’s The Collector won’t play a part in James Gunn’s space-faring adventure.