'Star Wars: Episode VIII': Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern join cast

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EW News Flash: 'Star Wars: Episode VIII' Has Started Filming

Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro have joined the cast of "Star Wars: Episode VIII," Disney confirmed on Monday.

The studio also announced that newcomer Kelly Marie Tran will have an unspecified role in the latest installment of the space opera.

Dern scored Oscar nominations for her work in "Rambling Rose" and "Wild," and effectively ducked velociraptors and T-rexes in "Jurassic Park." Upcoming projects include Jennifer Fox's "The Tale" and Kelly Reichardt's "Certain Women."

Del Toro scored an Oscar playing a morally conflicted cop in "Traffic," earned another nomination for "21 Grams," and headlined the likes of "Sicario" and "Savages." He next reprises his role as the Collector in "Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2." An earlier Variety report said that Del Toro will play the villain role in the new "Star Wars."

Principal photography on "Star Wars: Episode VIII" begins Monday at Pinewood Studios in London. The film hits theaters on December 15, 2017, when it should mint money.

"Looper" director Rian Johnson wrote the screenplay and will replace "The Force Awakens'" J.J. Abrams behind the camera. Cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis will all return for the latest sequel.

See photos from the recent "Star Wars: Episode VII" premiere:

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'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' LA premiere red carpet
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'Star Wars: Episode VIII': Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern join cast
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actress Lupita Nyong'o attends the World Premiere of ÂStar Wars: The Force Awakens at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actress Sofia Vergara attends the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14th, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actress Gwendoline Christie attends the World Premiere of ÂStar Wars: The Force Awakens at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actor Dominic Sherwood attends the World Premiere of ÂStar Wars: The Force Awakens at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Carrie Fisher and Billie Lourd arrives at the Premiere Of Walt Disney Pictures And Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Directors George Lucas (L) and J.J. Abrams attend the World Premiere of ÂStar Wars: The Force Awakens at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt attends the World Premiere of ÂStar Wars: The Force Awakens at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actress Caterina Scorsone attends the World Premiere of ÂStar Wars: The Force Awakens at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actress Sarah Hyland attends the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actor Harrison Ford and actress Calista Flockhart arrive for the Premiere Of Walt Disney Pictures And Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' held on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actor John Boyega arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Director Russ Lamoureux, actress Constance Zimmer and guest attend the World Premiere of ÂStar Wars: The Force Awakens at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actor Oscar Isaac attends the World Premiere of ÂStar Wars: The Force Awakens at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actress Gina Rodriguez attends the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14th, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg arrives at the Premiere Of Walt Disney Pictures And Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Mark Hamill arrives at the Premiere Of Walt Disney Pictures And Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. attends the World Premiere of ÂStar Wars: The Force Awakens at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: TV personality Mario Lopez attends the World Premiere of ÂStar Wars: The Force Awakens at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actor Josh Gad attends the World Premiere of ÂStar Wars: The Force Awakens at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Reza Jarrahy and Geena Davis attend the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' at the Dolby Theatre on December 14th, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Writer/director J.J. Abrams attends the Premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Composer Michael Giacchino attends Premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Recording artist Becky G attends Premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actor Andy Serkis attends the World Premiere of ÂStar Wars: The Force Awakens at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actress Katherine McNamara attends the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14th, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actor Alberto Rosende attends Premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actor Karrueche Tran attends the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14th, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Elizabeth Banks arrives at the Premiere Of Walt Disney Pictures And Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actress Daisy Ridley arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actor Seth Green attends the World Premiere of ÂStar Wars: The Force Awakens at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: TV personality Catt Sadler attends the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14th, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actor Adam Driver attends the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' at the Dolby Theatre on December 14th, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actress Carrie Fisher arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Recording artist Bonnie McKee arrives at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' at the Dolby Theatre, TCL Chinese Theatre and El Capitan Theatre on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actress Billie Lourd attends the Premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Austin Swift arrives at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' at the Dolby Theatre, TCL Chinese Theatre and El Capitan Theatre on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actress Jaime King attends the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' at the Dolby Theatre on December 14th, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actress Darby Stanchfield attends Premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Singer Zendaya attends the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14th, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actress Cody Horn attends the Premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
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