Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro has been offered to play the villain in the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” reports said Monday, citing sources. Toro will also be seen with Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, who will debut in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in December.
A report by Variety said that the deal was in early stages and it was not known exactly which character Toro will play. However, it added that film studio Disney was looking for highly talented actors and also met with Joaquin Phoenix for the same role. The movie is being produced by Ram Bergman with Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy.
Toro won the Oscar for the best supporting actor in 2001 for his role as a drug enforcement officer in the movie “Traffic,” and was also nominated for the same category in 2001 for his role in "21 Grams." The Puerto Rican also portrayed Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara in 2008 in a biopic that was premiered in Cannes.
Toro played the role of the Collector in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” that was released last year. The 48-year-old was also considered for the role of Khan in “Star Trek Into Darkness” but negotiations fell through. The role of Khan later went to Benedict Cumberbatch.
Toro will be seen very soon alongside Emily Blunt in crime drama “Sicario,” directed by Denis Villeneuve. The movie is set to be released on Sept. 17, the Wrap reported.
Directed by Rian Johnson, “Star Wars: Episode VIII” is the second of the three planned prequels to the movie franchise. The shooting of the film is expected to begin early next year ahead of its May 2017 release, BBC reported. Disney reportedly did not provide any comment on the casting details.