Looks like the rumored Anakin Skywalker shortlist just got a little shorter.
Daily Variety columnist Michael Fleming reports today that someone -- make that, some actor -- is close to being named the next Anakin Skywalker (aka the future Darth Vader) by "Star Wars" guru George Lucas.
And that someone, according to the Fleming report, is none other than one Hayden Christensen.
Who the heck, you ask, is Hayden Christensen?
The fact that no one can recall what the 19-year-old Canadian-born actor looks like notwithstanding, Christensen has been, so to speak, grinding it out in Hollywood since the mid 1990s, consigned to doing less-than-memorable TV series.
His resume includes parts in 1995's "Love and Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story" (yippee!), 1996's tube adaptation of romance-maven Danielle Steel's "No Greater Love" (wahoo!) and the recent Fox Family Channel series "Higher Ground."
Relative anonymity or no, getting cast (or being rumored to be cast) as Anakin in "Star Wars: Episode II" is just the type of thing that can bestow instant celebrity.
Christensen's camp has been bombarded with calls seeking comments today, we were told (when we, um, bombarded Christensen's camp with a call.) But here was something interesting: In addition to the usual brush-off, we were told to redirect our inquiries to the "Star Wars" headquarters that is LucasFilm.
And as of now, we're still waiting for them to call back.
Of course, Christensen is not the first name to be associated with the role. Other rumored Anakin candidates in the past have included "Dawson's Creek's" Joshua Jackson and James Van Der Beek, "American Beauty's" Wes Bentley, "General Hospital's" Jonathan Jackson, "American Pyscho" star Christian Bale and Tom Hanks' son Colin Hanks.