Sources tell Variety that “Nightcrawler” actor Riz Ahmed is the top choice for the male lead in the “Star Wars” anthology film “Rogue One.”
Gareth Edwards is directing and Ben Mendelsohn is also set to star as the main villain.
At a panel with Edwards and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy at last weekend’s Star Wars Celebration, Edwards explained that the plot revolves around the heist of Death Star plans by a group of rebel fighters and that Felicity Jones would play one of the rebel soldiers. Sources could not confirm Ahmed’s role, but it is likely he too would play a rebel soldier.
The film will take place between Episode III and Episode IV, but closer to “A New Hope.” It’s set to bow December 2016.
Ahmed was among a group of young actors who had been meeting with Edwards for the last month in London while the director prepped for the film. Sources say Ahmed’s chemistry test with Jones separated him from the pack for Edwards and production execs.
Besides “Nightcrawler,” Ahmed was also seen in “Four Lions.”
He is repped by CAA and Gordon and French. Badass Digest first reported the news. Disney had no comment.