Rumor: Alex up for Star Wars: Episode VIII?

MAGIC MIKE’s Alex Pettyfer and PETER PAN’s Rachel Hurd-Wood may be prepping to travel to a galaxy far, far away. If they get the parts.

According to the usually spot-on Latino Review, the pair have been brought in by Disney to read for the lead roles in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII, set to be directed by J.J. Abrams with a script by Michael Arndt.

The publication speculates that Hurd-Wood would play the daughter of Princess Leia and Han Solo. Additional actresses will also be vying for the part, representatives for the film have made clear.

The report notes that Pettyfer may be in talks to take on the role of Luke Skywalker’s son – though sources wouldn’t confirm. Ryan Gosling was originally approached, though reportedly turned it down.

As previously reported, the film may have been bumped to December 2015 from its expected (though unconfirmed) May release.

The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year intervals. Sixteen years after the release of the trilogy’s final film, the first in a new prequel trilogy of films was released.

The three prequel films were also released at three-year intervals, with the final film of the trilogy released on May 19, 2005. In October 2012, The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion and announced that it would produce three new films, with the first film, Star Wars Episode VII, planned for release in 2015. 20th Century Fox still retains the distribution rights to the first two Star Wars trilogies, owning permanent rights for the original film Episode IV: A New Hope, while holding the rights to Episodes I-III, V and VI until May 2020.

Reactions to the original trilogy were mostly positive, with the last film being considered the weakest, while the prequel trilogy received a more mixed reaction, with most of the praise being for the final movie, according to most review aggregator websites. All six of the main films in the series were also nominated for or won Academy Awards.

All of the main films have been box office successes, with the overall box office revenue generated by the Star Wars films (including the theatrical Star Wars: The Clone Wars) totalling $4.49 billion, making it the third-highest-grossing film series. The success has also led to multiple re-releases in theaters for the series.


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