When it was announced, the only thing we really knew about the cast and crew of the first of several forthcoming Star Wars spinoffs was that Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) would be in the director’s chair. But in the last couple months, the film — which recently received a title, Rogue One — has founds its female lead in Felicity Jones, a composer in Alexandre Desplat, and now it appears the spinoff has found its male lead in Ben Mendelsohn.
Mendelsohn’s filmography is filled mostly with supporting credits, including a solid trio of films over the last few years in The Dark Knight Rises, Killing Them Softly, and The Place Beyond the Pines. The latter of those three includes solid acting all-round, including Mendelsohn, and I’m interested to see what he brings to a starring role in a Star Wars film considering I don’t know his work with a ton of familiarity.
More recently, Mendelsohn was in last year’s Exodus: Gods and Kings and Starred Up, is currently starring in “Bloodline” on Netflix. He can be seen later this year in Mississippi Grind and Slow West, two films from A24 that premiered at Sundance that sit nicely on my list of films to see in 2015.
Disney has not commented on the rumor, and I suspect it won’t until Mendelsohn or somebody else officially signs on the dotted line, but I’m intrigued to say the least. The studio could choose somebody far more predictable to star in these things, and the fact it is seeking out less popular talent raises my interest level by a decent margin. [Deadline]