Benicio Del Toro heads to the dark side for Star Wars: Episode 8

The Force Awakens doesn't arrive in theaters until Christmas but that's not stopping Disney and Lucasfilm from turning attention to the next installment. Word from The Wrap suggests that Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro is in talks with for the main villainous role in Episode 8.

This early report offers no details on what the role might be, just that Del Toro is a strong contender for the part and is well-liked by the studio. He's no stranger to Disney after cropping up as the eccentric Collector in Guardians Of The Galaxy, which may work in his favor. Additional speculation from Variety also hints that Joaquin Phoenix had met with Lucasfilm but turned down the part.

As the second film in the brand new trilogy of Star Wars movies isn't due until 2017, there's no news on what we can expect storywise or which characters from The Force Awakens might join Del Toro. All that's certain at this stage is that Rian Johnson is attached to direct.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18, followed a year later by Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One on December 16, 2016. Star Wars: Episode 8 hits screens on May 26, 2017.

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Gem Seddon

Gem Seddon is GamesRadar+'s west coast Entertainment News Reporter, working to keep all of you updated on all of the latest and greatest movies and shows on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Outside of entertainment journalism, Gem can frequently be found writing about the alternative health and wellness industry, and obsessing over all things Aliens and Terminator on Twitter.