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Decoding the 'Star Wars' Casting Rumors

Who's in and who's not, from Saoirse Ronan to Ryan Gosling

Daniel Day-Lewis, Ryan Gosling and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic; Jamie McCarthy/WireImage; Larry Busacca/Getty Images
October 4, 2013 2:25 PM ET

Is Daniel Day-Lewis going to be in the new Star Wars movie? That's the latest question on fanboys' minds as rumors about casting for Episode VII, the latest installment of the celebrated space opera, continue to swirl furiously around the Internet.

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Speculation about a possible role for Day-Lewis surfaced when a scoop-hunter at Latino-Review.com tweeted that the three-time Oscar-winner recently had lunch with George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy, the president of Lucasfilm, who's leading the charge on the project alongside director J.J. Abrams.

Day-Lewis is far from the only big-name actor who's been mentioned as possible cast member. As Yahoo! News reports, other celebrities that have come up in recent months include Ryan Gosling, Zac Efron, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Alex Pettyfer, Michael B. Jordan, Liam McIntyre, David Oyelowo and Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Khan in Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness and will later this year voice the titular dragon of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.

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There's no solid proof that any of these guys are actually in talks to be in the wildly anticipated film, which will be the first part in a trilogy that reportedly takes place in the years after Return of the Jedi. This summer, Gosling was said by Latino-Review.com to be in discussions to play Luke Skywalker's son, but reps for the actor flatly denied the rumor, telling The Huffington Post that it is "not true." The same thing happened in September when FilmChronicles.com named Cumberbatch as a possible cast member; a spokesperson for the English actor told the New York Daily News that there was "no truth" to it.

But even these flat-out denials might not be trustworthy. Abrams likes to keep as many details about his projects under wraps for as long as he can, and has been known to resort to denials and obfuscation to preserve their secrecy. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, even Cumberbatch himself seemed unsure about whether he's actually involved in the film.

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"I don't know. Who knows, who knows? Nothing is known of that," he said when asked if he'd join the cast. "I worked with J.J. Obviously, he knows. Everyone who wants to be part of that film, they know about." Abrams will begin shooting Star Wars: Episode VII early next year, and the film is set to hit theaters on December 2015.

Lucas said earlier this year that he's been in negotiations with original cast members Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher to bring them back into the Star Wars universe. More recently, perhaps the only solid bit of casting news comes from the young Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, who told Sky News this week that she's auditioned for a part. Then again, she added, "so has everyone."

Any thoughts on casting for the upcoming Star Wars? Let us know in the comments below.

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