His name first appeared in a casting rumor for Episode VII (via Latino Review), but now British actor David Oyelowo is rumored to be part of the voice cast for the new Disney XD animated show, Star Wars Rebels.
According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision Blog:
THR/HeatVision has learned that David Oyelowo, Freddie Prinze Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray and Steven Jay Blum are in the process of being cast as the voice leads for the series, which will make its debut in fall 2014.
Oyelowo is currently starring as Forest Whitaker’s son in Lee Daniel’s surprise $100 million hit The Butler and is shooting Interstellar for Christopher Nolan. His name surfaced in connection to the Star Wars universe in a report by Latino Review — although it had him pegged for the film side. (Not that this precludes him from any film appearance, by the way.)
When asked for comment, Lucasfilm said: “We don’t have any casting announcements at the time but are excited about the series and look forward to sharing news with you in the future.”
Given The Hollywood Reporter’s reputation and sources I tend to trust this rumor. The rumor gets a further embellishment over at Jedi News, where their source claims:
I am being told that not only will he be in Episode 7 but the plan is for him to also be in Rebels playing a character that sets up his Episode VII character! All part of the major EpVII co-ordinated push being pulled together by Simon Kinberg and the first major sign that Rebels will be the vehicle to setup the masses for EpVII fever!!
The idea that we could see some continuity of characters between Episode VII and Rebels would be very interesting. It is interesting that this rumor doesn’t say David would be playing the same character, but instead a “character that sets up his Episode VII character.” Could this mean he plays two characters that are related but separated by a generation or two?
This also seems to indicate the Force behind the future of Star Wars storytelling the Story Group, a collection of individuals within Lucasfilm that guides the narrative of Star Wars.
There are some interesting connections with Oyelowo and Lucasfilm. The actor starred as Joe ‘Lightning’ Little in George Lucas’ pet project Red Tails (2012) and recently worked on Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln as Ira Clark. One of the producers on Lincoln was Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.
To the best of my knowledge if he is cast in Rebels, this would mark Oyelowo’s debut as a voice actor in animation, his previous experience coming on the stage and in live action television and film.
I thoroughly enjoyed Oyelowo’s performance in Red Tails and I am very excited that he may be joining the crew of the Ghost and giving Imperials headaches.