Benicio Del Toro, the smoldering Puerto Rican star of such films as Traffic and last year's Sicario, is next slated to star in a little movie called Star Wars: Episode VIII. Have you heard of it? Small film, something about space. While chatting with the actor about his forthcoming Yugoslav war drama A Perfect Day, I took a moment to ask him about the role, because as a film journalist I feel it's my duty to support independent cinema. Here are four little things I learned from our chat.

1. He's scheduled to begin shooting in the early part of this year.

"I'm traveling to England to shoot sometime in the spring."

2. Director Rian Johnson handpicked him for the role.

"I'm looking forward to working with Rian Johnson too, who was the one that reached out to me and had the idea of me playing the character that I'm gonna play. So that's kinda nice."

3. He finds the prospect of starring in the film "nerve-wracking."

"It's more surreal now, I'll tell you that. I mean, after the success...not only at the box office, but the success of the quality of [Episode VII]. I really enjoyed the film...so it's kind of nerve-wracking now, but I'm really happy to be part of it."

4. He won't deny that he's playing a villain.

"You know, I'm not supposed to say, but that's what's out there, so I'm not gonna try and fight it."

Let's all speculate from this minimal amount of information.

Star Wars: Episode VIII is slated for release on May 26, 2017.

Chris-eggertsen-med
A former contributor to sites including MTV's The Backlot and Bloody-Disgusting, Chris Eggertsen worked in film development before indulging his love of pop culture writing full time. He specializes in horror, the intersection of social issues and entertainment and Howard Stern. He's on Twitter @HitFixChris.