Fans are currently in love with Daisy Ridley and what she could mean for the future of the Star Wars franchise, ushering in a new wave of strong female heroes. And that will continue later this year with the Felicity Jones-led Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, then in 2017 with Star Wars: Episode VIII. Last month it was reported Belle and Concussion star Gugu Mbatha-Raw had landed an 'Episode VIII' role, but she's apparently out and another red-hot actress may be taking her place.
According to The Wrap's Jeff Sneider on the Meet the Movie Press podcast (via /Film), The Diary of a Teenage Girl breakout Bel Powley is up for the key part. News of Mbatha-Raw's departure actually hit a few weeks ago, but this is the first we're hearing of a potential replacement. That said, there were others up for the role before, such as Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany and Gina Rodriguez of Jane the Virgin. Powley is arguably hotter than any of them right now, though. Her 'Diary' performance has earned her Indie Spirit Award nomination for Best Actress along with other accolades. She was most recently seen in the Brit comedy, A Royal Night Out. This is all just rumor for now and who knows which actresses Disney has in mind at this point.
There's still a lot of secrecy surrounding 'Episode VIII', which will be directed by Rian Johnson of Looper fame. It's unclear how much screen time will be given to Ridley's character, and there have been rumors of Benicio Del Toro playing a bad guy, which makes one wonder what the future holds for Adam Driver's Kylo Ren. Powley seems like a natural to be part of the Resistance battling against the First Order.
Star Wars: Episode VIII opens May 26th 2017 with production to begin soon, so expect some confirmations to arrive in the coming days.