The number of actors rumoured to be attached to J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII keeps growing by the week as stars like Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Saoirse Ronan have all been speculated to head back a long time ago, to a galaxy far, far away. Now, the latest actor to have their name come up for a role is Jack O’Connell, a 23-year-old English actor best known for parts in This is England, Harry Brown and the TV series Skins.
According to Bleeding Cool, a couple of dependable sources have linked O’Connell to the part. Journalist Brendon Connelly says, “I believe that he’s met with Abrams and the signs I’m getting are that this meeting went very well.” Although that is not much to go off of, O’Connell is on the cusp of big fame for roles in two upcoming 2014 films: 300: Rise of an Empire and Unbroken. In the latter film, which Joel and Ethan Coen penned and is directed by Angelina Jolie, O’Connell will play Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner captured by the Japanese during World War 2. Based on Laura Hillenbrand’s bestseller, it is slated for a Christmas Day release in 2014.
O’Connell has also received acclaim (and a British Independent Film Award nomination) for his role in Starred Up, which screened at TIFF. With his star quotient rising, there is perhaps a stronger likelihood that O’Connell is getting attention and is being considered for more high-profile roles. Although this is still an unconfirmed rumour, we do know that the studio had been looking for a “young twenty-something male” an the recent attention given to his performances in both British and upcoming American films could be a big part in arousing Abrams’ attention.
Just in case you forgot, Star Wars: Episode VII is coming out on December 18, 2015. Tell us, would you like to see O’Connell in the film?