According to multiple sources close to the casting process of ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’, Benicio Del Toro has been offered the role of the film’s chief antagonist.  Representatives from Disney (who owns Lucasfilm LTD) did not return calls and no official announcement has been made.  It appears that the offer has been made, but discussions have barely begun, so nothing is carved in stone at this point.  Talks could easily fall apart, but if things work out, Del Toro is a charismatic and highly respected actor, who could bring a lot to this franchise.

Del Toro is a familiar face to moviegoers.  Last year, he ventured into space as The Collector in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ for Marvel, a fellow subsidiary of Disney.  He rose to visibility in gritty movies like ‘Snatch,’ ‘Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas’ and ‘Traffic.’  Perhaps his greatest role has been as real world dictator Ernesto Che Guevara in the two-part bio pic ‘Che’.

Back in 2011, Del Toro was in negotiations to play Khan in what eventually became known as ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ but walked away, reportedly due to being unable to come to an agreement on his salary.  The role eventually went to Benedict Cumberbatch.  Of course the director of that film, J.J. Abrams, departed the ‘Star Trek’ franchise to helm ‘Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens.’

‘Episode VIII’ will be directed by Rian Johnson with Ram Bergman and Kathy Kennedy producing.  It is expected to begin shooting early in 2016 and is slated to open on May 26, 2017.

‘Episode VII- The Force Awakens’ opens this year on December 18, starring John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac.  ‘Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One’, directed by Gareth Edwards follows next year on December 16, 2016, with Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker and Diego Luna.

Looks like the galaxy far, far away is steadily expanding.  Do you think Del Toro has what it takes to wield The Force?

Source: The Wrap