Sunday, 20 September 2015

Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One cast confirmed

Filming is already well underway on Gareth Edwards' (Godzilla) Star Wars standalone film, Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One. While he wasn't able to make it to Disney's D23 event in Anaheim last month, he did send a video greeting along with some casting confirmation for the film, plus our first look at the resistance fighters who unite to steal the plans of the Death Star. Joining his cast are Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt), Donnie Yen (Ip Man), Jiang Wen (Gone With The Bullets), Alan Tudyk (Serenity) and, as already rumoured, Ben Mendelsohn (Killing Them Softly).

They join the already confirmed Felicity Jones (The Theory Of Everything), Diego Luna (Milk), Riz Ahmed (Ill Manors) and Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels' The Butler) in the first Anthology entry, which tells the story of a group of resistance fighters who unite to steal the plans of the original Death Star. "Rogue One takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe," says Kathleen Kennedy in a statement. "It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know. Gareth is such an innovative director and I'm so excited to be working with him and the extraordinary ensemble cast he's selected for Rogue One."

It is certainly an eclectic cast – with Tudyk once again donning a performance capture suit as he did for I, Robot (2004) – and we're happy to see that Mendelsohn, who had been rumoured for some time, was able to make a deal. Edwards has Greig Frasier (Zero Dark Thirty) as his cinematographer, with Neil Corbould (Black Hawk Down) on special effects supervision and Doug Chiang (Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace) and Neil Lamont (Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows) as production designers. Gary Whitta (After Earth) and Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass) worked on the screenplay, based on an idea by Industrial Light & Magic veteran John Knoll.

Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One will fly into UK cinemas on 16 December 2016.

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