April 02, 2014 1:55pm PT by Borys Kit , Rebecca Ford
With 'Black Mass' Casting, Jesse Plemons Likely Out of 'Star Wars: VII'
Jesse Plemons' name has been orbiting the Star Wars: Episode VII casting universe since January when it was reported the actor met with the movie's director, J.J. Abrams.
But a new casting signals that Plemons likely won't be dropping by a galaxy far, far away anytime soon.
As The Hollywood Reporter exclusively reported Wednesday, the Breaking Bad and Friday Night Lights actor is in talks to join Black Mass, the Whitey Bulger biopic starring Johnny Depp.
Plemons will play a blue-collar tough guy who is a close friend of Bulger's in the film, which is looking to begin shooting in early May in Boston. Episode VII -- set 30 years after the events in 1983's Return of the Jedi -- is also slated to begin shooting in May in London and Morocco. The concurrent shoots, separated by the Atlantic Ocean, would seemingly preclude Plemons from participating in both.
Another actor who was reported to have been in the mix, Matthew James Thomas (best known as the star of Broadway's Pippin), also appears to be out of the running. The actor recently auditioned for a role in Rosaline, a reimagining of Romeo and Juliet set up at Universal. That movie would shoot late summer, early fall.
What Plemons' and Thomas' cases show is that actors who've met about Star Wars are now pursuing other work in light of little response from the Star Wars camp.
Sources say that Plemons did meet about joining Episode VII, but it was just a meeting, and nothing has happened since. Abrams has been meeting with tons of actors for Episode VII, and -- as the script has been rejiggered -- he's met with even more. But after the meetings, it's often radio silence.
In a nod to the complex nature of the Star Wars casting process, agency sources say you can't assume that you're out of the running for the movie until it's actually shooting.
"I don't think anyone is out when it comes to Star Wars. An actor will clear their schedule to be part of this and any deal won't take long to make," says one source.
Because Star Wars: Episode VII, slated to hit theaters Dec. 18, 2015, is shrouded in a thick veil of secrecy, even meetings become news and an actor's involvement can be overstated by fans and the media.
Other names that have been reported over the past few months include Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael B. Jordan, Jack O'Connell, Alex Pettyfer, Saoirse Ronan and Sullivan Stapleton.
Therefore, while this Black Mass casting does signal that Plemons won't be joining Episode VII, it's important to remember that he, as with many of the actors who've had meetings, may not have ever been in talks or come close to joining the film.
As usual, Disney and Lucasfilm declined to comment.