Lupita Nyong’o met with JJ Abrams about a major role in ‘Star Wars VII’: OMG!?


If I have one worry for Lupita Nyong’o, it’s that Hollywood won’t know exactly what to do with her and her career will end up faltering as she’s miscast in a series of sketchy action films or heart-wrenching and utterly unwatchable dramas. Since winning her Oscar, Lupita hasn’t signed on to any new film. She was in Paris to represent her MiuMiu contract, and then…? My guess is she’s home in Brooklyn. Quietly weighing her options, figuring out her next move. What if her next move is a substantial role in the new Star Wars film?

Add Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o to those meeting for the part of the female lead in Star Wars: Episode VII.

Sources say that Nyong’o met with J.J. Abrams only a few weeks ago, just before the Academy Awards where she took home the statuette for best supporting actress for her work in 12 Years a Slave.

Nyong’o’s next moves post-12 Years are generating much tongue-wagging as she takes the steps to firm up a film career that has basically started off with a bang.

Nyong’o was born in Mexico, raised in Kenya, and graduated from Yale University School of Drama. She had a role in the MTV series Shuga but her feature debut was in 12 Years.

Her stardom has closely been building throughout the awards season and in the last few weeks she found herself in the mix for the high-profile role of Tiger Lily in Warner Bros.’s Pan. She is also in the running for a role in The Whole Truth, a courtroom drama starring Daniel Craig.

Now Nyong’o’s name has surfaced in connection to Star Wars. Because of the secrecy, it is unclear which role it could be. One possibility is that of a descendent of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which has been described as a non-Caucasian role. That is separate from the search for two roles, female and male, for characters in their twenties.

It is known that Abrams is still meeting with actors with several for his leads, which remain uncast. Several sources say that Jesse Plemons is one of the actors to beat for one of the roles and that British actors Ed Speleers and John Boyega are also in the mix. Adam Driver is in final negotiations to play a undisclosed villain character in the movie.

[From THR]

Latino Review theorized that Lupita is up for a role as a Sith. Lupita’s rep told them, “We’re not allowed to talk about that.” So… there was a meeting, that much we’re sure of. And how would JJ Abrams NOT want to work with Lupita? I imagine she’s very good in meetings.

So, is this Lupita’s next move? A Star Wars movie (or possibly three)? The thing is… imagine Lupita in some skin-tight futuristic suit. Imagine her with a badass cape. Imagine her with a light saber. See? I think it might work. I think she would fit in well with that world. We’ll see.

(I want Lupita and Benedict Cumberbatch to play Sith lord and lady – like Macbeth and Lady Macbeth of the Star Wars universe. I want them to be gloriously villainous and I want them both to have badass light sabers. There’s your start point, JJ.)


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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68 Responses to “Lupita Nyong’o met with JJ Abrams about a major role in ‘Star Wars VII’: OMG!?”

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  1. Lark says:

    Very good move on her part….Nowadays, most stars need at least one franchise and it provides a lot of security. I mean even the not so great scenarios with franchise actors like Orlando Bloom turn out pretty well…he’s still milking the fame he had off franchises to help him land small indie roles. Lupita, on the other hand, is way more talented and charismatic than Orlando so this would be a HUGE boon for her. She’ll make a lot of money and can do serious, Oscar baity films in between the Star Wars films….Plus, she and Benedict as Siths would be pretty damn hot.

  2. SweetNSnarky says:

    I really hope she gets it.

    Lupita and Cumberbach as a Suth lord and lady would be almost awesome enough to make it like the prequels never happened.

    • Shar says:

      The prequels NEVER happened. It was just our collective nightmares we were all having at the same time.

      • M.A.F. says:

        Pretty much. I don’t even acknowledge those half of the time.

      • Deehunny says:

        I’m really hoping that they do the Sith prequels (like the books ) for the next set of movies. It would make for a great series.

      • starrywonder says:

        LOL. My belief too. Just a bad dream I had that had me watch three horrible movies.

  3. Aurie says:

    While I think it’d be extremely smart for her to bank a few million (probably by the time the series is over, she’ll have gotten like 30-50 million for them) to set aside for the future, for her career, I’m not so sure……

    Almost no actor/actress manages to hit it big after gaining instant stardom/fame in a series franchise thingy that doesn’t depend on them in any way for its success.

    Most of the actors from POTC, superman returns, Bond series, Harry Potter, alice in wonderland, lord of the rings, etc. have faded away into obscurity. Even actors in current franchises like Thor, Captain America, have shown zero star power outside their franchise movies.

    Now yes I’m sure a few are doing quite well and getting some acclaim for tiny roles and getting steady work, but none of them have broken out or shown any promise of ever becoming the next Julia Roberts, the next Angelina Jolie, the next Sandra Bullock, or the next J-Depp, BPitt, RDJ, Will Smith.

    And it’s arguable they haven’t even managed to reach the level of the second tier top shots like Nicole Kidman, Denzel Washington, Natalie Portman, etc.

    • lisa2 says:

      I’m glad to see that someone else sees what I see. I think that the Super Hero franchises are seriously ruining these people and their potential. They get stuck in these movies and that is all the public wants to see of them. And yes you are right very few of them have gone on to make any real impact. I like RDJ a lot but outside the franchises he had not done a lot in the past few years. But I guess having a big payday is the way. Thing is after a time they will Recast/Reboot these franchises with younger actors.

      I find all of them (franchises today) extremely boring and generic. And sad to say many of the actors in them the same feeling is brought to mind too.

      • Green Girl says:

        It’s my understanding that it’s difficult work to prepare to be a superhero. You have to maintain a certain look, and that’s not easy to do. If you spend months training for a superhero role, you film the movie, and then maybe you have a few months off before you need to return to work for the next film in the franchise, which means you probably need to maintain your training. I wouldn’t want to jump in a starring role in between superhero films, as that seems like a lot.

    • lisa2 says:

      I’m glad to see that someone else sees what I see. I think that the Super Hero franchises are seriously ruining these people and their potential. They get stuck in these movies and that is all the public wants to see of them. And yes you are right very few of them have gone on to make any real impact. I like RDJ a lot but outside the franchises he had not done a lot in the past few years. But I guess having a big payday is the way. Thing is after a time they will Recast/Reboot these franchises with younger actors.

      I find all of them (franchises today) extremely boring and generic. And sad to say many of the actors in them the same feeling is brought to mind too.

    • Bridget says:

      The movie business has changed a lot in the last decade. It isn’t necessarily that every executive has decided that they LOVE superheros and desperately only want to make superhero movies; rather, as they’ve moved towards making fewer, but significantly more expensive movies a year, they’re extremely risk-averse and comic book movies and sequels in general are known quantities. If you notice, there are fewer and fewer midrange movies being made, and those are the movies where actors tend to be able to ‘break-out’ because in the big franchises it tends to be the character that breaks out and is the draw.

      Beyond that, there’s been a lot written about how there’s been a lack of ‘star power’ in the younger generation of leading men, and that’s been part of the reason why their franchise character is the defining characteristic of their career. Sometimes a ‘Next Big Thing’ just doesn’t take. Look at Robert Pattinson – 5 years ago people thought he was a sure bet for superstardom. Or Chris Pine. Or Ryan Reynolds. Though interestingly, there’s star-power aplenty on the ladies’ side.

      But the movie business has changed. As movies get bigger and bigger originality is considered a risk, and the emphasis is now on movies that will open big, and play well to foreign crowds.

    • Kate says:

      Natalie Portman was in 2 major franchises, Star Wars and Thor and she’s doing fine. Same with Scar Jo, Jeremy Rinner, RDJ. JLaw isn’t exactly hurting. Lupita needs to cash in if she can. I’m sure she did not make much for 12 Years a Slave and the sad facts of life are that Hollywood roles for African-American actresses, particularly dark-skinned actresses are limited. Sign on for Star Wars, get a back end deal and make enough money to set yourself up for life while you can, because it is difficult for women, particularly minority women, to truly truly get consistently good roles in Hollywood, no matter how talented they are.

      • lisa2 says:

        ScarJO got recognition for her work outside franchises first; same with JLaw. They were both nominated for awards for there work in films not franchises. Jeremy Rinner is a fine actor but he does not have BO power. He is more of a Character actor. RDJ’s fame is built on Iron Man and to a lesser degree with Sherlock. He had some great performances earlier. but the last 6+ years have all been Iron Man. I have said before I would like to see what his career is like after Iron Man; to see if he still has the pull to put Butts in the seat when he is doing something else.

        I don’t know if Lupita is going to get major backend deals at this point. She was amazing in TYAS.. but truth be known winning an Oscar does not mean you gain a lot of Power in Hollywood. It doesn’t work that way.

        I would rather she get a great indie role that does well at the BO then doing this Popcorn thing. Star Wars hasn’t been good since the first 3.

        and least we forget.. Star Wars was suppose to make Hayden Christensen the NEXT IT GUY

        see how that worked out.

    • Caroline says:

      Depp was in a franchise…POTC

      • Aurie says:

        But Depp was already B+ if not A- list by the time the first POTC came out.

        POTC launched him into A+ list.

        Lupita may have just won an Oscar, but she’s similar to Jessica Chastain. Both of them are seen as good actresses and likable, but nobody really cares about them either.

        Notice how Jessica Chastain has faded away from everyone’s memories after her two consecutive Oscar nominations.

        She had a box office hit in Mama (although she wasn’t really the draw for it) but nobody really reported on it. Websites were just like “ooh it was a good movie, did well” done. No more going on and on about it like superhero movies or twilight or POTC.

  4. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Are these Star Wars films any good? I saw the first 3, I think, and liked them, but wasn’t interested in any more. Should I binge watch?

    • Mia 4S says:

      NO! Dear God no do not binge watch. The first three including the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were magical, wonderful masterworks of the genre which inspired a generation. The next three? Almost complete garbage. Pretend they don’t exist.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Lol, thank you! I thought I might be missing out.

      • LadySlippers says:

        @Mia: I didn’t think they were *that* bad.

        @GoodNames: The problem for me with the prequels is Anakin is super annoying. Like one day he’s cute and the next you want to just clobber him or simply walk away because he becomes so bratty. The actor playing him (Hayden Christensen) didn’t make him a sympathetic character either so you just didn’t care about him. I liked the other characters better though.

        IMO they aren’t horrible horrible movies but I also am not clamouring to have them in my collection. Does that make sense?

      • Relli says:

        I am going to have to agree with LadySlippers on this one. I liked these movies all on their own but then I married a major Star Wars fanboy, who has read almost all the books and even has a self made cape he used to wear to Comic Con. He likes the movies but of course will point out the subtle nuances between the to but his major irritance is HC. Once we were watching them on TV and we were discussing Hayden and the Mankin Skywalker comment in the Clerks II movie which, he thought was hilarious. I told him that it was rumored at the time that Ryan Philippe had once been rumored for the role, he said he would have been much better in the role because he’s got that natural dick/douche vibe that Anakin needed.

        Also I just asked him about the Obi descendant thing and said that doesn’t make sense he had no children.

      • Gorgonia says:

        +1000000. The first trilogy was great. I don’t find the prequels unwatchable, but still they cannot beat the original. I liked especially princess Leila Organa: she was one the most sassy, irritating yet strong female character I saw in Sci-Fi movie during my youth, while princess Padme looked to me like a frail porcelain doll … I think the comparison between this two characters speaks volume about the image of the women in the ’70 and now…

      • Granger says:

        Relli, a descendant doesn’t have to be direct: the character could be descended from Obi Wan’s brother or sister. That is, if Obi Wan had any siblings, which was certainly never mentioned in any of the Star Wars films.

        I agree 100% with Gorgonia. The prequels aren’t horrendous, and episode 3 is actually pretty good — it’s dark and depressing, and the final fight scene between Obi Wan and Anakin is surprisingly emotional. Plus the whole Darth Vader as Frankenstein imagery is well played. But those films still don’t hold a candle to episodes 4, 5 and 6, and Princess Leia is right up there with Ripley (from Alien) as a truly strong female action character. Natalie Portman’s Amidala had the potential to be a great character but Lucas let her fade into Anakin’s shadow as the fragile, doomed-to-die little wifey. It was pretty pathetic.

      • Relli says:

        @ Granger I asked him that too (I thought of that too obviously) and he said off the top of his head he couldn’t recall he had to consult some books :)

    • Alexis says:

      People overstate how bad the prequels are. The first two are a bit boring if you don’t like politics, and even if you do the perspectives are off (imagine House of Cards in space with Frank Underwood as not the main character). But they are not unwatchable.

      The third prequel, Revenge of the Sith, is on par with the originals. I think it’s a little better than return of the Jedi. That’s worth a watch even if you avoid the other prequels.

      Full disclosure, I watched all six in chronological order so I can be a bit more objective than some who watched the originals as kids…

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        I must be the only one who didn’t they they were THAT bad. I think Anakin was a whiny biatch, and he and Natalie Portman had ZERO chemistry whatsoever, but other than that? Loved them.

        I don’t get why people are complaining so much about them–it’s not like the writing was ever all that great. It was rather basic–but it was the story, the imagination of Lucas that was so great. Lucas said that the thing he hated most was the writing…..I could see being upset if the first three had like Oscar winning writing in it, and then the last three sucked balls–they were on par.

    • T.C. says:


      No, don’t watch the other three. They are horrible. Bad script, bad acting. Hayden Christensen the lead actor is the worst actor I have ever seen. Natalie Portman did her best but was given such bad lines.

      JJ Abrams did a good job with Star Trek so I have faith he will do the same for Star Wars.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Thank you all so much! Maybe I’ll wait to see what happens with Lupita and decide then.

  5. Lea says:

    I really hope she’ll get it,It would be a great move to establish in Hollywood for some years. Has anyone heard the news that Lupita’s going to adapt the novel “Americanah” by Chimamanda Adichie??This is an incredible news!

    • Huh says:

      Half Of A Yellow Sun sucked big time. It’s my favorite Chimamanda novel. So I’m not excited for Americanah at all

  6. ncboudicca says:

    Please, even I have talked to JJ Abrams about a role in Star Wars. Who hasn’t? :-)

    • Sixer says:

      Snigger! I haven’t, but my cat says he has. Sith familiar.

      • LadySlippers says:

        My one cat that JJ might be interested in doesn’t share that kind of info to mere mortals like myself.

        However, my other cat would have spilled the beans and I would have gotten some juicy details. But she’s old so he wouldn’t be interested in her at all.

    • j.eyre says:

      I haven’t either but that’s just because I am up for “Girl Who Screams Too Long 2″ in Avengers 14 over at Marvel. They don’t like us to multi-franchise.

      Also, ncboudicca, I suggest you rethink turning down the Descendant of Oola role – you would really be lovely in it.

      • ncboudicca says:

        Oh, Ms Eyre, but that is the problem! JJ won’t tell me what role I’m up for – says it would spoil the surprise. I mean, really…he takes it too far…

        I mean, I hope it’s Oola’s Daughter, maybe permanently chained to Cumberbatch? Or is that the plot to a romantic comedy?

      • I Choose Me says:

        “I haven’t either but that’s just because I am up for “Girl Who Screams Too Long 2″ in Avengers 14 over at Marvel.”

        Hahaha. Oh Jane. How I love thee.

  7. Ashley says:

    Everyone has met with Abrams so yhis really means nothing. Plus how lame if she’s a villian and dies at the end.

    • mom2two says:

      Exactly. I really don’t think Abrams knows what he wants for this movie. I think Lupita would class up any movie she’s in and if she happens to be cast in Episode 7, I’d be happy. But I will reserve my excitement until we get official casting announcements from Abrams/Disney/Lucasfilm or whoever official is making those announcements.

  8. Marianne says:

    On one hand its a really good idea for her to do them because they will definitely make her a household name. But, I have a good feeling (like with most other starlets) she will end up being everywhere and it will cause backlash.

    • idk says:

      That is true. This always happens. Every single time. It’s really out of the control of the actress though. It’s not her fault every blog is talking about her and her every move.

      Plus she knows Hollywood is fickle, you’re in one moment and out the next. Sometimes, you just have to take advantage of the situation and make your money while you can.

  9. AlmondJoy says:

    Good for her! I hope she gets the part. I’m not going to analyze every part she accepts or complain about how “small” her role in movies have been. Movies where a black woman is the main character are almost never made, unless you sign up to do a Tyler Perry film. Sadly, she might not have tons of options. It sucks, and I dont agree with it, but this is Hollywood. If she decides to take a part in a franchise movie, I’m happy for her. Lupita will bring something special to any character she takes on.

  10. Lilacflowers says:

    At this rate, everyone who ever acted will be in the Star Wars films.

  11. Kelly says:

    I like it, yay!

    Also her and Cumby would make amazing Macbeths literally, not just some fantasy parody. I bet she’d be awesome as Lady Macbeth on stage.

    Right now I really wish she’d been cast as Lady Macbeth instead of that annoying Cotillard woman, with Fassbender.

  12. lucy2 says:

    I hope she is offered lots of opportunities and makes wise choices. She seems like a lovely, talented, and very smart woman, I hope she is able to turn this momentum into a lengthy career.

  13. Ash says:

    I love Lupita, but I bet nothing comes of this. JJ has met with everyone for this film, the only one I think will actually be in it is cumberbatch.

    • Marianne says:

      Adam Driver is already confirmed.

      • Abby says:

        Nope he isn’t confirmed. It’s a scoop that Variety released, they can be wrong too.

        Disney,JJ or even Adam have not confirmed the casting. No one is officially confirmed yet not even Ford, Fisher or Hamill.

      • LadySlippers says:


        So the only confirmations we have right now are that JJ is directing and that it is a SW movie. That’s about it, right? Everything else is speculation.


      • Jessica says:

        @Ladyslippers: Yep. There has been no official release confirming the casting of anyone.

  14. Lucy says:

    Well now I want to see it!!!

  15. TheCountess says:

    Sorry Lupita, not even you can make me interested in a new “Star Wars” film.

  16. CK says:

    Aside from this casting prospect, was anyone else enraged to learn that she was up for the role of Tiger Lily and lost out to Rooney Mara? I’m supposed to believe now that not only could they not find any qualified Native American actors, but none of the other PoC that auditioned for the role weren’t adequate enough so it had to be whitewashed. That’s some bull.

    • Ag-UK says:

      Typical but I am not following what she is up for. I think she will need to do another role before Hollywood will see her in a different light. It will be an uphill battle.

    • Jessica says:

      Lupita was up for the role of Tiger Lily? I didn’t know that, but that is enraging. They should have been looking at, and cast, a Native American actress for that role given that Tiger Lily is a Native American character. Rooney Mara is a terrible choice. Lupita would have been a terrible choice, too. There are Native American actresses, they should have cast one of them.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        That’s what I’m not understanding. The character is Native American. It’s actually important to the story (not comparable with Michael B. Jordan being cast as the Human Torch), for the character to be NA. Why do they have to white wash everything?

        Shoot–if they’re going to hiring random people, then they need to hire me–I have more Native American in me than Rooney Mara has (most likely)…I’m 1/16th…my grandmother’s mother was half Native American and wouldn’t acknowledge it–this was before/during the Depression–because Native Americans were treated worse than black people back then….from what my grandma says, if any NA’s had even the slightest tinge to their skin, they would say that they were mulatto–which is what my great grandma said.

    • Ash says:

      Are you freaking kidding me? Casting Rooney is terrible, but casting Lupita would be just as awful. No white or black cast an actual Native American please. No one is more disrespected in this country than native Americans. They live in poverty with no representation and they can’t even get any of their actors (and YES there are Native American actors out there) to play one in a film. So sad. Were finally getting real films showing the struggle of Slavery and the struggle of Black Americans, I hope we soon can get a film of the mass genocide that happened here in our own country.

      • CK says:

        Maybe you should read a bit more carefully next time and think before commenting. I argued for a native american actress, but since they weren’t doing that, a PoC would have been better. There is a long history of black native americans and the same goes for hispanic native americans. They would have had more claim to the heritage and would have been more believable than Rooney Mara.

  17. Vera says:

    I’m not into Star Wars, but I’ll watch it for her.

  18. Fun&Short says:

    I love Lupita. Hope she will get it.

  19. ScrewStewrat99 says:

    I think she would be great in Star Wars. I don’t know why, but I can just envision her in all of these different costumes from the movies and I think she’d be fantastic. I hope she gets a part.

  20. Green Girl says:

    Another day, another Star Wars casting rumor. SIGH.

    Aren’t they supposed to start filming this movie in the next few months? Would it be possible they’d try to keep some parts a surprise for as long as possible?

    • Jessica says:

      I know, right? Pretty much everyone has been linked as a possible actor. J. J. has met with a crap ton of people. I don’t blame him, there is a lot of pressure to get the casting right. The press just wants to report something, so they’ll take anything and anyone who is even a little bit linked–ie. they met with J. J. or were seen at Bad Robot HG. I stopped believing anything the press writes about SW casting rumors when they said Zac Efron was legitimately being considered. I won’t believe anything until there is an official announcement.

      • LadySlippers says:

        I don’t wonder if all these rumours helps build JJ’s idea of mystery around a movie. And all of it is just BS.

        *eye roll*

  21. Monksolo says:

    I hope they don’t cast her as the jedi with the two tentacles for hair. You wouldn’t be able to even see her under the makeup.

  22. Gypsy says:

    Franchises offer lots of money and an opportunity to become a box office draw.
    Franchise star
    Zoe Saldana – Avatar (Director James Cameron)
    Zoe Saldana – Star Trek (Director JJ Abrams)

    New Franchise star
    Lupita Nyong’o – Star Wars (Director JJ Abrams) – casting almost certain.
    JJ believes in diversity of his cast.

  23. M.A.F. says:

    I could see her playing a fighter pilot in the films if this is true.

  24. Jenn says:

    She’d be an awesome Sith. She’ll look good in Lens Flare too.

  25. Amy says:

    i don’t think is a good move for her. I think she is great as deserved her oscar but 12years of slave was her first movie and then she had a non talk part in a non stop. What are the chances she will pull that off and nerds will embrace her? i’m sure her team will push her to it and probably trying to get a nice contract but she has to think on the long run. Those movies won’t do anything for her acting wise. I can’t name the number of supporting oscar winner actress who disappear from the map because they went for the obvious roles after and coudn’t build a career.