The Wrap is reporting that Star Wars 8 director Rian Johnson and the Star Wars brain trust have a shortlist for the potential female lead in Star Wars 8. The list is Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), and Olivia Cooke (Bates Hotel). Part of the final round of auditions include a "chemistry-read" with The Force Awakens star John Boyega suggesting they will be part of at least a romance and/or flirtation subplot for the film. The movie is aiming for a May 26, 2017 release date so filming is expected to start soon.
You can't fault the taste of those involved as all three are up and coming actors with short but impressive resumes that have shown a deep well of talent that frankly surpasses most current "movie star" despite their mostly TV background. While I found Cooke to be the stand out actor on Bates Hotel, Maslany stands head and shoulders above the trio thanks to her amazing work on Orphan Black. After you watch her pretend to be another character who in turn is pretending to yet another character and completing understanding what is happening and at no point be confused is a level of acting that few actors would be able to pull off. (If not watching Orphan Black, you are missing out.) Due to the nature of the TV series she now has extensive knowledge of CGI, practical effects, and stunts that far outpaces the other two actors which for something as effects and stunt heavy as Star Wars can only be a bonus on her side. Good luck to all three of them, nice thing about this short list is any choice from this trio is a win for Star Wars.