Riz Ahmed Is In Talks To Join The STAR WARS Universe

He could be a rogue. One, anyway.

Expect to hear a lot of casting news coming out of Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One, as I'm being told the film has a big main cast. Dirty Dozen and Magnificent Seven are the comparisons I'm hearing, and I'm hearing it's going to be aa big cast where not everybody makes it to the other side. Those are unusual stakes for a Star Wars film!

One of the names I've heard is attached to the film: Nightcrawler's Riz Ahmed. I first got to know him in Road to Guantanamo and Four Lions, and he's an extraordinary actor. What's more, his ethnic background - he's a British born Muslim of Pakistani descent - adds a new color to the Star Wars rainbow, where the main characters have until now been overwhelmingly white and male. 

But more than the diversity stuff - which is cool! - Ahmed is a great screen presence. I don't know what kind of a role he'll have in Rogue One, but I can already imagine a dozen different ways he could go. That's how versatile and interesting he is. 

Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One starts shooting just a month or two, so like I said, expect a lot of names to join the already announced Felicity Jones and the not official but we know he's in it Ben Mendelsohn.

Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Observer