Benicio Del Toro says ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ begins filming next year

It’s unclear whether Benicio Del Toro will be in Star Wars: Episode VIII, but he’s sure talking like a future castmember.

The Oscar-winning Traffic star has been in long-running talks with Lucasfilm to take part in the sequel to this December’s The Force Awakens, and recently told the Spanish radio station RAC1 that he expected to start shooting the project in “February or March.” Del Toro also said he would be “like the villain,” but stressed that he didn’t know for sure if it was going to happen.

Sources close to the movie, which will be written and directed by Looper filmmaker Rian Johnson, say Del Toro’s involvement is still up in the air, and these conversations don’t always pan out. (For instance, Del Toro was also in deep talks once to play the role Benedict Cumberbatch eventually took in Star Trek Into Darkness, and that fell apart at the last moment.)

There have also been rumors recently about various actresses who are in the running for a new role in Episode VIII, among them Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany, who came close to getting the role won by Felicity Jones in Star Wars: Rogue One

Again, sources close to the new film tell EW yes, many actors and actresses are being considered, but it’s too soon to know who will be the final choice. As the Emperor says: “Patience, my friend…”

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