12. Dev Patel
Patel is fresh off the critically acclaimed success of David Lowery’s The Green Knight. It is a story that makes me think of a new take on Luke Skywalker. Instead of seeing the hero’s journey to save the galaxy, perhaps we can witness a personal journey of self-discovery just as Sir Gawain underwent in the film.
It is the type of story that resonates most with Patel, similar to George Lucas’ storytelling around Anakin Skywalker. Speaking about his favorite elements of film more broadly, Patel echoes Luke’s story, saying, “I like underdog stories. I like to go and sit in a dark room and watch someone rise through adversity and achieve something which others deem impossible.”
Patel seems like a fantastic option because of that perspective but has also shied away from starring in blockbuster films at times. Many of his recent works have been produced by much smaller companies. That is especially true after 2010s The Last Airbender, which consisted of the green screen work that Patel has come to dislike. The Green Knight shows just how effective practical environments can be.
Star Wars certainly has a lot of animations, but thanks to the introduction of virtual sets used in The Mandalorian, things are becoming more realistic over time. Perhaps Patel is changing his tune as a result of that, as the surprising news recently came out that he once auditioned for Star Wars himself. He didn’t seem to make much of it, but it shows that Patel is slowly opening the door into the Star Wars universe. Maybe he could bust it down as Luke Skywalker.