Maisie Richardson-Sellers
Maisie Richardson-Sellers in short film Music Wherever She

An unknown Oxford-educated actress is reportedly being eyed up for a starring role in JJ Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII.

Maisie Richardson-Sellers has been named in reports after director Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy have said would seek to hire young unknown actors in its leading roles.

The Hollywood Reporter's quoted several sources saying: "She is in line to nab an undisclosed and possibly major role in the high-profile Disney/Lucasfilm production".

They also report that an "extended casting search" was under way in London ahead of the start of filming in May.

In early April Disney boss Alan Horn told THR that filming had begun in some form and that the majority of the film's cast was in place.

Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher have all been open about their returns to the franchise as Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia respectively.

Peter Mayhew is also expected to return as Chewbacca.

"One of the roles yet to be filled is that of a young black or mixed-race woman who may be a descendent of Jedi Knight Ben Kenobi," said THR. "In the film, which takes place 30 years after the events of 1983's Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, the character would cross paths with the children of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.

"Two sources say Richardson-Sellers has not been offered a role. But industry buzz has begun to coalesce around the British actress."

Little is known about Richardson-Sellers. She has no feature film credits to her name but has starred in a short film called Music Wherever She Goes and on stage in productions There Will Be Red and Mephisto.