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Star Wars casts some future Oscar nominees

Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart
One of the most interesting things that I took away from yesterday’s official casting news about Star Wars: Episode VII is just how great the cast will look a decade down the line (that and how much the powers that be must have enjoyed Inside Llewyn Davis when they saw it last year, but more on that in a moment). Yes, I have a suspicion that there will be a few Oscar nominations for the cast down the line, though most likely not for this film. It’s a cast that’s chock full of emerging talent, not to mention one acting legend who already has some big citations on his resume.

For those unaware, it was announced yesterday that John Boyega, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, Andy Serkis, and Max von Sydow would be joining original saga stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the upcoming sequel to be helmed by J.J. Abrams. Of that new group, only von Sydow is an Academy Award nominee, but Inside Llewyn Davis costars Driver and Isaac are well on their way to getting some nods before long. I could say the same for Gleeson too, considering his charm that I’ve seen to date for him. That could one day lead to a nom. There are also some still to be cast roles as well, so potential future nominees could still be in the mix, alongside actual winners like Lupita Nyong’o as well.

In my eyes, what this will do for the cast, especially someone like Isaac, is raise their profile perhaps tenfold, leading to a chance to really get some juicy parts. Some might caution that Star Wars defined the careers of Fisher and Hamill, but Ford certainly wasn’t boxed in. He had a whole other franchise he led (Indiana Jones) and managed to be Oscar nominated (for Witness), so it’s easy to see Isaac following Ford’s lead going forward.

At the same time, an unknown like Ridley can make a name for herself here. If she has a big role and nails it, there’s no telling how in demand she might become. The industry is always looking for a new young actress to fall in love with, so why not Ridley if she’s got the goods?

If nothing else, it was nice to see Abrams and the decision makers over at Disney and LucasFilm not just go for the biggest names possible, but those they thought would actually be the best at their jobs. That’s sometimes a rare occurrence in Hollywood, so I’m very pleased by that.

It’ll be over a year before we can judge this new Star Wars film on its merits (or even begin to consider it as a potential awards player), but for now, I’m encouraged by the casting. While none of the stars should realistically hope to receive acting nominations for their roles in this franchise, it’s highly likely that they’ll go on to earn those nominations in the ensuing years.

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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