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REPORT: Gina Rodriguez, Tatiana Maslany, Olivia Cooke on 'Star Wars: Episode VIII' Shortlist

Director Rian Johnson's "Star Wars: Episode VIII" will reportedly feature a new female lead and Gina Rodriguez ("Jane the Virgin"), Tatiana Maslany ("Orphan Black") and Olivia Cooke ("Me and Earl and the Dying Girl") have made it to the shortlist for the role.

According to TheWrap, Johnson is continuing to audition actresses, with several as-yet unnamed contenders set to chemistry-read with "The Force Awakens'" John Boyega before the end of this month. Rodriguez, Maslany and Cooke are said to be part of this group.

Little is known about the sequel to "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," though it's been reported that Benicio del Toro has been offered a role for the film, likely as a villain. No casting has been made official for “Episode VIII,” but  “Force Awakens” actors Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and John Boyega are expected to return.

Directed by Rian Johnson, the as-yet untitled “Star Wars: Episode VIII” is scheduled for release on May 26, 2017. Before that, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens on Dec. 18.

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