‘Star Wars’: Adam Driver to Play the Villain (EXCLUSIVE)

Adam Driver Star Wars

Adam Driver is ready to travel to a galaxy far, far, away.

Sources tell Variety that while no deal is done yet, the “Girls” actor is close to signing on to play the villain in J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: Episode VII.” Exact details are unknown, but the character is said to be in the vein of iconic “Star Wars” villain Darth Vader.

Driver, 30, is the first cast member to be revealed for Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm’s highly-anticipated “Star Wars” installment, which will open in theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.

The big-budget tentpole, directed by J.J. Abrams, is scheduled to shoot at London’s Pinewood Studios in April. Additional cast members will likely be announced in the next month.

“Star Wars: Episode VII” will continue the Jedi saga where “Return of the Jedi” left off.

Abrams is producing with Bryan Burk and Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy.

Driver’s name had been rumored during the casting process, but in recent weeks, the Indiana native has become Disney and Lucasfilms’ top choice to play the main villain.

The delay in making a decision was due to scheduling issues with “Star Wars” and his HBO show “Girls.” Sources say it’s not just Season 4 that was the hangup, but also future seasons, since future “Star Wars” installments could also coincide with upcoming seasons of the HBO Lena Dunham comedy.

Sources are now telling Variety that scheduling issues have been resolved and that a deal should be finalized in the coming days.

Abrams recently announced that the script he co-wrote with Lawrence Kasdan was finished and that they would begin zeroing in on casting decisions soon. Michael Arndt wrote the original draft, with Kasdan and Abrams taking over last fall.

Disney was also rumored to be looking at Michael Fassbender and Hugo Weaving for the villain role.

The studio had no comment on the cast.

While Driver has received acclaim for his role on “Girls,” he has become more in demand for high-profile features lately. The actor is currently filming Warner Bros.’ “Midnight Special” and is also attached to Martin Scorsese’s “Silence” starring Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson. He is repped by Gersh and can currently be seen on the third season of “Girls” airing on HBO as well as the Shawn Levy pic “This is Where I Leave You” which bows this fall.

Disney has been quickly ramping up the “Star Wars” universe since buying Lucasfilm for $4 billion in October, 2012. In addition to the “Star Wars” films, the studio is developing theme park attractions, TV shows and an extensive line of merchandise.

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  1. Juk says:

    What’s next, he’ll come out as gay, we already know that.

  2. Ch Ki says:

    I don’t see this being a success. The story of Star Wars has always been Anikin’s Skywalker’s decent into hell and his redemption. With out Anikin, the story just becomes another grade b “chopsocky” albeit set in the distant future.

    • Alex says:

      How has it “always been” when if you were to only see Episode 4 you would assume that Anakin had died? The first movie released gave no indication that Anakin was of any importance.

    • Silas Marner says:

      As I recall, Lucas originally outlined nine chapters, and that the only two characters in all nine chapters were the two droids, R2D2 and C3PO. The best rumor I’ve ever seen as to the theme of chapters seven through nine, is that after the Empire is defeated, a new threat appears, a previously unknown species or regime seeking to take advantage of the empire’s fall and conquer that region of space.

  3. Mike Ganas says:

    Jacen Solo / Darth Caedus?

  4. RobX says:

    The working title for the film is
    Star Wars: The Hipster Alliance Begins

  5. Mikex51 says:

    First semi announced actor and your already ruining this movie!!!

  6. patriottony says:

    Well he sure is ugly enough for the role,,,thye may have to “pretty him up some” just to be presentable…Jeeeez this is the best they could do?

  7. Gino Dekkers says:

    Maybe he’s supposed to become an Alien Sith Character, or wears somekind of suit….

  8. RomperStomper says:

    He better know ‘Sith lightning’ to make up for those matchstick arms of his.

  9. ADMIRAL THRAWN…. PULEASE !!!! Hope this kid can intimidate… we need a good villian, Spader’c casting is the only good news I’ve consumed in months.

  10. Xavier says:

    You all do you realize that he’s a US veteran that signed up to the army after 9/11, right? Some of you nerds need to get a life and not be so quick to judge.

    • TellingtheTruth says:

      Just because he is a veteran doesn’t mean he’s right for a role. It still doesn’t take away from the fact that he hit every branch on the ugly tree on the way down. We can only hope that he’s wearing heavy facial prosthetics or a cyborg suit.

  11. twinstick says:

    Hey, look at the bright side. At least they didn’t pick Jar Jar Binks to play the villain…

  12. filmguy says:

    Darth Big Ears.

  13. idiotX says:

    How funny. A show on HBO that no one watches is going to “potentially” hold up production on a movie millions will watch. more people will show up on opening night to a Star Wars movie than have watched “Girls” in it’s entire run on HBO. In the vein of 30 Rock: A show critics love to tout, but no one actually watches it. But somehow we are led to believe it great! Yeah…OK.

  14. No Funeral says:

    He’s going to play Admiral Thrawn.

  15. Willieb says:

    Didn’t Darth Vader die in episode VI? Who did they say this “guy” was gonna play in episode VII? Maybe I misread…

  16. afishinthehat says:

    Reblogged this on afishinthehat and commented:
    directed by jj abramsss??? and driver beats fassbender. well just crossed yer fingersss allll

  17. WMX says:

    I would prefer that either Fassbender or Weaving played the villain. Still, Driver can do a good job. Also, I’m glad to get an almost official casting update.

  18. Leave Han Alone says:

    Yeah I’m sure he’s going to play a Star Wars villain the exact same way he plays his character on Girls. You know, the same way Harrison played Han like that bell boy Dead Heat On A Merry-Go-Round.

  19. Same old, same old as nepotism reigns and intellect drains….away…..

  20. Lance says:

    Disney…..hmmm… I see the parents dying and the young jedi struggling against odds to prevail…..movie over…..thats all Disney has. … dead parents or parent. ….same ole same ole…….yawn!

  21. Henry says:

    This guy is b grade actor at best and that is being generous. I guess being on a filthy show has it’s rewards.

  22. ManOnPoint says:

    I definitely want to see this film!!!

  23. SoTxJoe says:

    His mis-shaped head will save a lot of money on makeup.

  24. Ghangis says:

    I find your lack of faith, disturbing.

  25. Kirk Zel says:

    Serenity ( Firefly ) was as good of science fiction as anything star wars has produced.

  26. chris says:

    So they picked the ugliest person on the planet will he be big ear maul

  27. blogagog says:

    Meh. That person barely even looks like a girl. What is he doing on a show called Girls?

  28. Star Wurm says:

    Meet Jar Jar’s new replacement.

  29. Col. Angus says:

    Girls is a comedy?

  30. first says:

    The offspring of Leia and Solo aligning with the Sith?
    He looks like a combination of Solo and Leia

  31. CB says:

    Of course Disney is going to be selling cheap chinese crap Star Wars toys. Its their MO.

  32. Eric Ross says:

    OMG.. i can see a plug for Mickey – two dome homes as a silhouette looking a lot like a pair of mouse ears.

  33. John Oliver says:

    Are you f’ing kidding me?

  34. Dirk Digler says:

    Well, as long as that fat chick from Girls doesn’t play the love interest in VII, I guess it’s ok…

  35. circles around you says:

    don’t forget those hot GAP ads

  36. Smitty says:

    Heesa look funny!

  37. BeEtLjOoZ says:

    Reblogged this on LouisianaWorld.Net and commented:
    Darth Driver

  38. Hugo Weaving says:

    Hugo Weaving for villain role…

    Miiister Anderson… We missed you.

  39. Gary Kurtz says:

    The only possibly compelling story is a prequel that gives us the Han Solo backstory. Other than that, it’s just a big bunch of JJ Abrams’s signature lens flare.

    • Just watch the movie _The Frisco Kid_ with Harrison Ford and Gene Wilder. Harrison’s character is a version of a much younger Han Solo…. even though it wasn’t filmed many years before! Harrison’s just that good of an actor.

    • Leave Han Alone says:

      No. Not everything in Star Wars needs to be told. Han’s arc is over and he was great as the a spaghetti western style scoundrel. An origin story would ruin that.

  40. Pure Fluff says:

    Reblogged this on Pure Fluff and commented:
    He does have kind of an evil look but not an obvious choice.

  41. He sorta looks like Jar Jar turned to the Dark Side

  42. Dean says:

    In other news, sources say they are looking at the cast of Girls for another role said to ”be in the vein of Jabba the Hutt.”

  43. Eddie says:

    I wonder if he is ready for the career trajectory of Hayden Christensen, Mark Hamill, David Prowse and Ray Park?

    • Dirk Digler says:

      You knew how to spell all four of their names years after the fact. Without Star Wars, it’s likely you wouldn’t be able to utter one of those names…

      • Duder NME says:

        What about Jake Gyllenhaal, Quvenzhane Wallis, and Bob Hope?

      • Eddie says:

        I also know how to spell Cuba Gooding Jr., Dr. Haing S. Ngor, Carol Lynley and Keir Dullea. Doesn’t mean they did much better than Hayden Christensen or Mark Hamill, though at least two of them have (or, since one of them is dead, HAD) Oscars. Just because I’m a good speller doesn’t mean I’d want to have those careers.

    • dg101 says:

      Or he could have the career trajectory of Harrison Ford.

    • Ben says:

      How about Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, Ewan Mcgreggor, Keira Knightly, and Harrison Ford?

      • Duder NME says:

        Portman’s only notable films were “Beautiful Girls” and “Leon”, and Knightley’s was “Bend It Like Beckham”, while Christensen was acclaimed for “Life as a House” and “Shattered Glass”. That makes it even.

      • Dean says:

        They had careers before Star Wars. Don’t count.

  44. John says:

    Is this really so difficult — Lucasfilm Ltd. does not have a capital F. They have a freaking website, they have been around for 40 years. This really shouldn’t need explaining to someone from Variety.

  45. Jill says:

    So. . . Disney and JJ are very secretive, won’t allow actors to talk, etc., but then release the names of the actors they rejected? Classy.

    • Harry says:

      umm well no the actors have been the only ones to blab. Not Disney

      • Jill says:

        Actually, no; only a few actors–Zac Efron, Saoirse Ronan (who said she didn’t get it), Gary Oldman–have spoken about this. The others have been quiet, though mentioned in various stories. This story (“Disney was rumored”) seems to come from Disney sources.

  46. mchasewalker says:

    Adam Driver is the most extraordinary actor and screen presence to come along in a long time! He literally chews up the furniture with everything he does.

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