A Star Wars spinoff focusing on Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi is reportedly in the works at Lucasfilm.
The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed Oscar-nominated director Stephen Daldry is in talks with Disney to helm the project, which would centre on Anakin Skywalker’s mentor.
If confirmed, it will be the second Star Wars standalone film to be produced by Disney, with Ron Howard’s Han Solo being released next year.
But Disney’s plans for a Star Wars universe expansion won’t stop here. Obi-Wan and Solo are just two of several projects being developed around the Skywalker saga.
Lucasfilm is also considering spinoffs on master Yoda and bounty hunter Boba Fett.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was first played by British star Alec Guinness in the original trilogy, was then picked up by Ewan McGregor in 1999’s Star Wars: A Phantom Menace.
McGregor played the Jedi master for two more films, and said he would be open to revisit the character in the future.
But there is no confirmation on who will take over if the film takes place during his younger years.
Daldry, who has yet to be confirmed by the studio as the film’s director, is known for the dancing drama Billy Elliot, as well as The Hours and The Reader.
He is also up for an Emmy this year for the Netflix show The Crown, which Daldry produced and directed.
When will the narrative take place?
There are only three logical time possibilities for the film.
Either his younger years, before his first chronological appearance in The Phantom Menace; the Clone Wars era in the middle of the second trilogy; or the two decades between Revenge Of The Sith and the original film.
The Clone Wars period is by far the less probable, given that it has already been explored in an animated series.
The last option has also already been told – in a comic book titled The Journals Of Old Ben Kenobi, which sees the character exiled in Tatooine while the Empire rises.
An origins film is by far the easiest option, following Obi-Wan’s backstory as he becomes Qui-Gon Jinn’s apprentice and discovers his Jedi powers.
Who will play him?
Here, the plot thickens.
If the story takes place during Ben’s self-imposed exile, going back to Ewan McGregor is the safest and likeliest option.
The actor is a fan favourite and has showed interest in returning to the saga.
If, however, the story focuses on young Ben’s development, there is an array of young talent who would all make great Jedis.
Nicholas Hoult has played a similar role in Jake Paltrow’s Star Wars-influenced 2015 underachiever Young Ones.
He is already part of a film franchise, though, having played Dr Hank McCoy AKA Beast in the X-Men series.
So is rising star Tye Sheridan, who was recently cast for the role of Scott Summers AKA Cyclops, but whose acting skills have also been praised in indie films like Joe and Mud.
Other possible frontrunners include the likes of Thomas Mann from indie romcom Me, Earl And The Dying Girl; Everybody Wants Some’s Glen Powell and The Sense Of And Ending’s Joe Alwyn.