For months, it was rumored that Benicio del Toro would be a part of Star Wars: Episode VIII. Today, Disney finally confirmed that the Oscar-winning Puerto Rican actor would join Oscar Isaac and Lupita Nyong’o in the next installment. Though there’s no news on who he will be playing, Hitfix reports that he is rumored to be a villain, which means I might be switching to team bad guy.
Though it wasn’t official until today, my dude Benicio has not really been keeping it a secret. Just last month, when asked if he was going to be a villain, he said, “You know, I’m not supposed to say, but that’s what’s out there, so I’m not gonna try and fight it.”
In October 2015, he told the Irish Examiner that being in Star Wars was a dream come true. “I was a fan, especially of the first three ones – Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Return of the Jedi,” he said. “I watched them when I was a kid and I liked them. It’s kind of exciting to be part of one of those posters I had in my bedroom when I was kid. I like R2-D2 and C-3PO and Chewbacca.”
He also did an interview with Spanish station RAC 1 in September, which you can listen to here. Back then, he said shooting would probably start in March. But a new video from the set reveals that the cast is already filming the movie, which is expected to be released December 2017.
Guardians of the Galaxy was Benicio’s first foray into sci-fi. When preparing his part in Guardians he could look back at Marvel comics for inspiration. For his upcoming role in Episode VIII, the lack of source material worries the Method actor. “You need to really understand these worlds. How can I find information? How can I do research? You can go and watch the old Star Wars movies, but Star Wars has been written for the movies,” he told Coming Soon. “It’s not based on a book. Rian Johnson, the director of Episode VIII, though, which I’m going to be shooting this spring, I’m going to have to bombard with questions.”
Update 1/23/2016 at 2:40 p.m.: Episode VIII will be titled Star Wars: The Last Jedi.