Keri Russell has just been cast in Star Wars: Episode IX. She joins a cast that will include returning actors Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac. Production is set to begin at the end of the month. Scenes will reportedly be filmed in Cardington Airship Sheds in Bedforshire, U.K, the location of the Yavin IV Rebellion base in A New Hope and Rogue One.
Since Star Wars 9 isn't set to hit theaters until December 2019, not much is known about the movie. However, we do know it will conclude the latest Star Wars trilogy, which kicked off in 2015 with J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. The trilogy continued late last year with Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi, which proved to be a divisive entry among viewers. Next, Abrams will return to direct Star Wars 9, which has just added a new cast member to the film set in a galaxy far, far away.
Variety broke the news about Russell. Currently, not much is known about the character she will play or whether or not she will be in the Resistance or the First Order. Abrams, along with Lucasfilm, met with several actresses before settling on Russell shortly before the 4th of July holiday. The role is said to involve action-heavy scenes. Russell has previous action experience having starred in FX’s The Americans, Mission: Impossible III and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Variety speculates that Abrams and Lucasfilm will probably cast two more roles before production begins.
Ewan McGregor and Billy Dee Williams are rumored to return for this latest installment in the Skywalker saga. In addition to directing Star Wars 9, Abrams is also working on the script with Lawrence Kasdan. Abrams stepped in to direct after the original helmer, Colin Trevorrow, left the project citing creative differences.
Russell burst onto the scene playing the titular character in The WB’s Felicity, a show created by Abrams and Matt Reeves. She reunited with Abrams for 2006’s Mission: Impossible III. This role comes after Russell wrapped the series finale of The Americans, a show about Russian agents posing as an American couple during the Cold War that ran for six seasons.
Her previous history with Abrams along with her experience working in action films makes Russell a good choice for this surprise role. Her recent role on The Americans is an added bonus. She has experience playing conflicted, nuanced characters, which will make her fit right into the Star Wars universe. It’s likely that her character will remain shrouded in mystery until much closer to the release date - or until it hits theaters entirely.