Star Wars Episode IX is eyeing Keri Russell. Sources tell Variety, the 42-year-old actor may join the JJ Abrams directorial, which he is also writing. The role calls for action-heavy fight scenes. Russell has previously performed stunts in projects like FX’s The Americans, Mission Impossible and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
The actor-director duo has earlier worked together in 2006’s Mission Impossible.They have a long history having first collaborated in WB’s dramatic series, Felicity all the way back in 1998.
Speculation has already begun over what character Russell could be playing. Questioning the similarity between Daisy Ridley’s character Rey and the actress’ hair colour, fans are theorizing that the two could turn out to be related.
Abrams and Lucasfilm executives met several potential actors for the role in the last two months and decided that Russell was the right choice before the Fourth of July holiday.
The director is likely to cast two more actors by the time the film begins production at the end of the month. Knowing Abrams secretive nature regarding his films, these castings could remain hidden from the public eye until the movie releases.
Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver are expected to return in the next part of the franchise.
This is said to be Ridley’s final film of the franchise. She had earlier said, “I am really, really excited to do the third thing and round it out, because ultimately, what I was signing on to was three films.” She continued, “So in my head, it’s three films. I think it will feel like the right time to round it out.”
This is Abrams’ return as director – he helmed Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) and was asked to come back to direct the latest installment after Colin Trevorrow exited following creative differences.
The movie is set to release on 20 December 2019.
(With inputs from IANS)