Star Wars VII: Who Will Play the Lead?

Adam Driver will play the villain in the next “Star Wars,” but who will play the hero who challenges Driver and the evil empire.

After meeting with several young actors, sources say  Ed Speleersstar John Boyega, Jesse Plemons, and theater actors Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher are among the men J.J. Abrams is considering for the lead role.

The search is still ongoing, but these actors have moved to the top of the list in recent weeks.

Details of the character are vague but the part is believed to be a Jedi apprentice. The original draft by Michael Arndt focused on Han Solo and Princess Leia’s kids, however, Abrams and Kasdan’s recent rewrite puts their offspring in a supporting role.

One reason for the delay has to do whether execs and creatives want someone of a different ethnicity from the previous Caucasian leads.  Abrams has said that he wants to have a diversified cast, which is why actors like David Oyewolo and Michael B. Jordan tested early on.

Abrams is expected to surround the less-familiar actor with more recognizable stars for supporting parts, including original “Star Wars” cast members Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill.

“Star Wars Episode VII” will begin shooting later this year in London’s Pinewood Studios.

Produced by Abrams, his Bad Robot partner Bryan Burke and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, “Star Wars Episode VII” opens December 18, 2015.