Actor Benicio Del Toro has spoken out regarding his casting in Star Wars: Episode VIII, calling into question early reports that he would be appearing as the film’s villain.
The news that Del Toro was being considered for a role in director Rian Johnson’s as-yet-untitled Star Wars sequel made waves among fans when it was announced earlier this summer, and reports initially suggested that the actor was set to portray the movie’s primary antagonist. New comments from Del Toro, however, have called that assessment into question, though he is seemingly contradicting previous statements that he himself made.
— Screen Rant (@screenrant) September 16, 2015
While at the Toronto International Film Festival, Del Toro was asked by Entertainment Tonight about his role in Star Wars: Episode VIII, and the actor was nothing short of subtle in the way that he approached the question.
“I don’t know if he’s a villain. People are saying that, but it’s like they read a different script than I read… It’s nice to keep people in the dark, a little bit of mystery is good. If they want to believe it’s the villain, then good.”
Del Toro has seemingly confirmed his status as the newest Star Wars villain in the past, however, as SlashFilm points out. Speaking with Spanish outlet Rac1.org earlier this month, Del Toro all but called himself the villain of Star Wars: Episode VIII.
“Ehhh, the thing is, they don’t let me talk too much about it. I’m like the villain. But we’ll see.”
— Latino Review (@LRNews) September 16, 2015
Some outlets have suggested that Del Toro could simply be misleading fans in an effort to keep a lid on his role. Such a strategy would not be dissimilar to that employed by the production of Star Trek: Into Darkness, which famously denied Benedict Cumberbatch’s true role until the film was released.
— Yahoo Movies UK (@YahooMoviesUK) September 16, 2015
It is also possible, however, that Del Toro is playing a nuanced, morally ambiguous character in Star Wars: Episode VIII. In speaking with both outlets, he has referenced his character as similar to a villain, without actually placing himself in that arena. If honest, Del Toro’s comments could speak to a complex storyline surrounding his role.
Fans will have no shortage of time to dissect how Benicio Del Toro may possibly fit into the Star Wars universe, as Episode VIII is still two years away from a theatrical debut.
[Photo by Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images]