Plus: JJ Abrams reveals he already knows the true identity of Daisy Ridley’s space scavenger Rey
“It’s great. Much darker, but we’re very excited,” Boyega said of the script for Rian Johnson’s film, adding: “My part in the next film will be much more physical, so I might be in the gym a bit more.”
The actor’s co-star, Daisy Ridley, has previously described the screenplay for Episode VIII as “very good; very good”. But The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams refused to be drawn on rumours he would have liked to return for the follow-up in a new interview with Variety, saying only that his enthusiasm for the sequel was “enormous”, and adding: “I am very much excited for and very jealous of anyone, especially Rian, who gets to work so close to this extraordinary cast and crew – truly an amazing group. But honestly, I’m also relieved to have gotten that chance to do a Star Wars movie.”
Abrams’ also confirmed he knew the true identity of Ridley’s space scavenger, Rey, who many fans have linked to the Skywalker or Kenobi family trees, but refused to spill the beans.
Little is known about Johnson’s film, which the Looper director is also writing. However, there have been reports that Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro has been cast in an unspecified role. As well as Boyega and Ridley, Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa) are all reportedly set to return for the new instalment, which is due in cinemas for May 2017.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is expected to hit $2bn at the global box office – becoming only the third movie to do so – before ending its run in multiplexes. Abrams’ film, which has posted $1.75bn so far, has smashed all-time records on both sides of the Atlantic but failed to repeat that barnstorming success on its Chinese debut this weekend.
In other Star Wars news, Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow has described a campaign for saga creator George Lucas to replace him on the upcoming Episode IX as “funny”.
More than 20,000 people have signed the change.org petition calling for Lucas’s return, despite the latter having made it clear he will never direct another Star Wars film following criticism of his much-maligned prequel trilogy. Trevorrow told Entertainment Tonight: “It’s funny, I saw that, and it was on a day where I was at LucasFilm giving this big speech to everyone about how we want to channel the invention, and just the raw creativity and the boldness that George brought to these films, and not being afraid that we’re going to embarrass ourselves by doing something that might be crazy.”
He added: “When George Lucas made Star Wars, a lot of people thought it was crazy. When you try to pitch what that movie’s about – if you’ve never heard of Star Wars before, you say, ‘Here’s a character. His father’s part robot, but he can also do magic. And there’s a guy who can fly in a spaceship. He’s got a dog for a friend!’ – it sounds insane. But it’s the greatest story ever told. I just want to embrace that kind of invention and creativity that he brought to it.”
This article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 13th January 2016 08.58 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010