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Lupita set for Star Wars Episode VII?

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Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o is reportedly set to play the female lead in the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII.

Nyong'o, who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar last month for 12 Years A Slave, reportedly had a meeting with the film’s director JJ Abrams shortly before taking home the coveted golden statue.

The 30-year-old is currently keeping quiet about the rumours, but her rep suggested the reports are not unfounded, telling Latino Review: “We’re not allowed to talk about that.”

Other stars rumoured for the sequel, which is set to hit cinemas in December 2015, are Girls star Adam Driver, who is tipped for the villain’s role and Downton Abbey’s Ed Speleers, who has been linked to the lead male role.

Star Wars has attracted criticism for its lack of female leads. The franchise boasts only two high-profile actresses - Carrie Fisher, Natalie Portman - and a fleeting appearance by Keira Knightley in The Phantom Menace.

Abrams, who also rebooted Star Trek, has been praised for bringing classic films into the 21st century with a more balanced gender representation.

Reports surfaced in January that the director was searching for a mixed race or black actress to play the daughter or granddaughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

It’s not the first high-profile role Nyong’o has been linked to since her meteoric rise to stardom. She was said to be in the running for the role of Tiger Lily in the highly-anticipated Peter Pan remake before it went to Rooney Mara, and has been tipped to star alongside Renee Zellweger and Daniel Craig in upcoming spy thriller The Whole Truth.

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