Is Felicity Jones leading the Star Wars spin-off?

The Theory of Everything star is reported to be in final talks for the Gareth Roberts-directed standalone movie

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From being privy to the secrets of the universe in The Theory of Everything, Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Jones now looks set to check them out first hand (probably while shooting a cool blaster) in the upcoming Star Wars spin-off. We feel the casting choice is strong with this one…

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Following previous reports that she was competing against Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany and sisters Rooney and Kate Mara for the lead role, it is now believed that Jones is Disney and Lucasfilm’s first choice for the part and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is in final talks to star.

The film will be directed by Godzilla’s Gareth Roberts and will not be a straight continuation of the Star Wars series but rather focus on a different story, rumoured to involve either some kind of heist taking place before the original Star Wars: A New Hope or an exploration of the early days of characters Princess Leia and Han Solo.

If the latter theory is true, it would be reasonable to imagine Jones playing a younger version of Carrie Fisher’s original series character, with rumoured male lead candidates Aaron Paul and Edgar Ramirez presumably battling it out for Harrison Ford’s Han Solo.

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The film will be released in December 2016, one year on from JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII and a whole year before Chronicle director Josh Trank’s series continuation Star Wars: Episode VIII arrives in 2017.