Daniel Craig went over to the dark side to shoot a cameo role in the acclaimed Star Wars movie The Force Awakens.
There were rumours during the summer that Craig had a tiny part in the blockbuster picture, but he shot them down.
But a spokesperson associated with Disney, the studio that astutely purchased George Lucas’s Lucasfilm company, told me: ‘You’re close to the truth. Nothing can be said on the record, because it will be denied.’
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Can you spy him? James Bond actor Daniel Craig is thought to have a cameo in the new Star Wars movie
The spokesperson said Craig was filming Spectre at Pinewood studios when he got talking to Star Wars director J.J. Abrams, who also shot some of his film at the complex in Buckinghamshire.
‘They concocted the cameo together. I don’t know which scene it is but yes, it does involve Daniel playing a stormtrooper, because they wear helmets and for the most part they’re anonymous.’
The source, whom I can’t identify for fear of reprisal from the First Order (the galaxy’s new baddies), suggested that the scene might be at the beginning of the film, where white-clad troopers (above) storm a village.
In a separate confirmation, an executive working on the Star Wars picture told a group of film-makers that Craig shot the star cameo moment.
It’s good to know the actor is still mischievous enough to make such a gesture. There were times during the launch of Spectre when his sense of humour seemed to have been left on the cutting-room floor.
The Force Awakens is galactic-sized escapism that’s so fun I had to see it twice within 24 hours. It has some fabulous movie moments — one so traumatic (for me!) that my son grabbed my hand to check I was OK.
Part of the joy, to be sure, is seeing Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher return to the series that made them part of cinema history back in 1977.
Craig, pictured, was filming Spectre at Pinewood studios when he got talking to Star Wars director J.J. Abrams, who also shot some of his film at the complex in Buckinghamshire
Craig, pictured in Skyfall, is thought to have been in a scene at the beginning of the film, where white-clad troopers storm a village
Then there’s the new gang. Daisy Ridley, a complete unknown, was cast as Rey. At one point, Ford’s Han Solo comments: ‘The girl knows her stuff.’ She sure does.
John Boyega is superb as Rey’s screen companion Finn, and Oscar Isaac brings an old-time swagger to the part of ace resistance pilot Poe Dameron. Adam Driver, meanwhile, delivers a Shakespearean flourish to the Darth Vader-like Kylo Ren.
Helen McCrory was sitting in front of me at the Odeon, Leicester Square, with her son Gulliver, eight, and daughter Manon, nine (mother and daughter sported Princess Leia buns).
At the splendid after party at Tate Britain I was cheered to see Boyega with his Peckham neighbour Richard Taylor, father of murdered schoolboy Damiola.
The Force Awakens, which started screening here yesterday, is likely to beat the box office records of Skyfall and Spectre that have taken, respectively, around £104 million and £94 million.
A spokeswoman for Craig said last night the actor had neither confirmed nor denied that he might have played a small role in the film.
THE FORCE AWAKENS’ ALL-STAR CAMEOS
Radiohead producer/Atoms for Peace member Nigel Godrich has a role as FN-9330, a Stormtrooper.
The music man’s involvement came to light when Four Tet tweeted him to congratulate him on the cameo role, with the producer replying with his thanks. Director Edgar Wright has subsequently claimed that he helped Godrich secure his role, tweeting that he ‘owed him one.’
As well as letting slip Daniel Craig’s role in the film, Simon Pegg has also landed a cameo himself. Before the release of the film, a photo of the Brit actor partially in costume surfaced with fans soon matching him to a new character who shares a scene with Daisy Ridley, as seen in a recent TV spot.
Pegg has also acted as an unofficial consultant on the film, with the massive Star Wars fan regularly sharing his ideas with his Star Trek director J.J. Abrams.
Saturday Night Live and Trainwreck star Bill Hader and Ben Schwartz, from hit show Parks and Recreation, are both listed as Vocal Consultants for new Droid BB-8 in the credits of The Force Awakens. In an interview with HitFix, Hader explained how the role came about:
‘JJ f**king around with this sound effects app on his iPad that was attached to a talk box operated by me. It looked ridiculous but it made BB-8’s voice. At first I tried doing a voice, but we all agreed it sounded too human.’
Warwick Davis makes his return to Star Wars for another cameo in The Force Awakens. Speaking to Digital Spy at the London premiere this week, the actor teased: ‘It’s just a cameo again, just a kind of token gesture that I’m there…[My cameo] is very insignificant. He’s no doubt somebody we’ll find out more about in the expanded universe – as with a lot of characters.
Warwick famously made his screen debut in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi as Wicket the Ewok aged just 11, and also played Weazel and Wald in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace.
Watch out for
Danny Sapani, who stars in Lorraine Hansberry’s play Les Blancs, as a man who, after living in Europe, returns to his African homeland to find there are tensions between colonial settlers and Africans.
Hansberry began writing the play in 1960, but it was unfinished at the time of her death in 1965. Robert Nemiroff, her former husband and literary executor, finished the drama and it was staged in the U.S. in 1970 with James Earl Jones.
Director Yael Farber’s production at the National Theatre will run on the Olivier stage from March 22, with a company including Sian Phillips, Gary Beadle, Fola Akintola, Elliot Cowan, James Fleet, Clive Francis, Tunji Kasim, Anna Madeley, Xhanti Mbonzongwana, Anna-Maria Nabirye, Jean Nsengiyumva, Tumo Reetsang and Karren Winchester.
Danny Sapani, who stars in Lorraine Hansberry’s play Les Blancs, left, and Annette McLaughlin, right, who will lead the touring version of Billy Elliot
Katie Mitchell, who will direct Michelle Terry, Peter Hobday, Graham Butler, Natalie Klamar, Tom Mothersdale and Matthew Tennyson in Sarah Kane’s searing, violent play Cleansed, which will run at the National’s Dorfman Theatre from February 16.
Annette McLaughlin, pictured left, Martin Walsh and Scott Garnham, who will lead the touring production of the hit musical Billy Elliot, which kicks off at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, on February 24. The West End production of Billy Elliot will close at the Victoria Palace in April after an 11-year run.
James Graham, the ardent political playwright who has written a play about Screaming Lord Sutch, called Monster Raving Loony, which Simon Stokes will direct at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth from February 6. Sutch, who died in 1999, was leader of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party and stood for Parliament on 39 occasions, losing every time.