Benicio Del Toro has confirmed he’s in talks to play the villain in “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” telling Entertainment Tonight that “it looks like it’s gonna happen, so I’m very excited.”
News of Del Toro’s potential casting traveled across the galaxy last month after TheWrap broke the story that the Oscar-winning “Traffic” star had the coveted offer from Disney and Lucasfilm.
Del Toro teased his involvement with “Star Wars: Episode VIII” at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Grants Banquet Thursday, where he was asked about the project on the red carpet.
“I can’t tell you much about it but I think that it might happen. It looks like it’s gonna happen, so I’m very excited. I can’t talk too much about it. The script is hard to get. They told me they’ll cut my finger if I talk about it,” Del Toro said. “I saw the original one when it came out and it marked me. I was impressed by the film and by the characters and with the story and the message.”
A representative for Disney/Lucasfilm had no comment.
Rian Johnson is directing “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” which is expected to start shooting early next year in advance of a May 26, 2017 release date. Ram Bergman is producing the film with Lucasfilm’s Kathy Kennedy.
Del Toro is already a member of the Disney family, having played a small but memorable role as The Collector in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Del Toro will soon be seen alongside Emily Blunt in Denis Villeneuve’s crime drama “Sicario” and in an untitled Terrence Malick movie. He’s also set to star opposite Idris Elba in Harmony Korine’s “The Trap.”