Adam Driver's character on the HBO series "Girls" has been accused of being a cruel, heartless weirdo. Now, Driver could be indulging his dark side further as the villain in "Star Wars: Episode VII."
According to a report in Variety, the 30-year-old Indiana native is close to signing a deal to play the main antagonist in J.J. Abrams' highly anticipated "Star Wars" sequel. Details of the character are unknown, the report says, but he's expected to be in the vein of the iconic bad guy Darth Vader.
Driver is the first cast member to be revealed for the film, which will be directed by Abrams from a script by him and Lawrence Kasdan, after the two took over writing duties from Oscar winner Michael Arndt. Abrams was tapped to direct "Episode VII" last year, and Kasdan has a long history with Lucasfilm, as a screenwriter on "The Empire Strikes Back," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Return of the Jedi."
Walt Disney Studios is set to release "Episode VII" on Dec. 18, 2015.
Driver is an intriguing choice to play the lead villain in the presumptive blockbuster franchise. On one hand, the former Marine and Juilliard graduate has earned praise from critics and gained a dedicated fan following for his breakout role as the crude-but-charming boyfriend of Lena Dunham's lead character on "Girls." He is often an intense, charismatic physical presence on the show, a quality that could serve him well as an intergalactic antagonist.
On the other hand, Driver has yet to anchor a mainstream movie, and there are few properties in all of pop culture as beloved as "Star Wars." Thus far, Driver has appeared in supporting roles in such films as "Frances Ha," "Lincoln" and "Inside Llewyn Davis," all of which have been well received -- but they're no doubt light-years away from resembling anything in the "Star Wars" universe.
Dunham, for her part, expressed confidence in her costar. On Twitter, she wrote, "We're VERY proud of Adam Driver re: Star Wars. He's about to rip a hole in da force."