Jupiter Ascending's Gugu Mbatha-Raw joins Star Wars: Episode VIII

It might be another couple of months before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits cinemas, but the wheels are firmly in motion on the sequel - Star Wars: Episode VIII. Collider have reported that Jupiter Ascending's Gugu Mbatha-Raw has signed on to join Rian Johnson's film, but no character details have been confirmed at this stage.

Mbatha-Raw’s appointment is the first major piece of casting news on Episode VIII since Benicio del Toro signed on to play the villain back in July. The role will be the actresses biggest break to date, having done eye-catching work in the likes of Beyond The Lights and Belle.

It had previously been reported that Gina Rodriguez, Tatiana Maslany and Olivia Cooke were being screen-tested to play the film’s female lead, although whether that is the same part as the one Mbatha-Raw has bagged remains to be seen. Directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VIII will open in the UK and US on May 26 2017.