Matt Smith says is is not starring in J.J. Abrams' still-untitled Star Wars: Episode IX. The conclusion to the Skywalker saga will arrive in theaters before the year ends with a slew of brand new actors boarding the franchise including Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant, Naomi Ackie, and Dominic Monaghan - all of which have their respective characters tightly under wraps. But apparently, despite previous reports that the former Doctor Who star is among those who will debut in the beloved space opera, Smith will not be in the film.
Disney and Lucasfilm have been mum about the story specifics for Episode IX, with nothing else but a brand new photo of Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) on the set Abrams shared to commemorate production wrapping. Considering where Star Wars: The Last Jedi left both the Resistance and the First Order, it's anybody's guess what lies ahead for the franchise. But one thing is for sure: Smith is not going to be a part of it, at least according to the actor.
Recently speaking with the LA Times while on a short break from filming Sony's Morbius, where he co-stars with Jared Leto, Smith got candid about his career - from playing one of the most beloved iterations of the Doctor in Doctor Who to Charles Manson in Charlie Says. He's also portrayed a young Prince Phillip in Netflix's critically-acclaimed drama, The Crown. With such a diverse portfolio and brilliant acting skills, many fans were looking forward to him joining Episode IX, but the actor refutes reports that he's in it. “As far as I can tell, I’m definitely not,” he said, not offering any more information regarding it.
It was August of last year when word first came out that Smith has been recruited for the next Star Wars episodic film. The initial report didn't reveal who he's playing in Episode IX, but he's tipped to play a "key role" in the narrative. Just a few months after the casting news, rumors started swirling that the actor may be playing a young Sheev Palpatine. Lucasfilm kept mum about this speculation, but it ramped up anticipation for Smith's role in the movie.
Of course, just because Smith said that he's not in Star Wars: Episode IX doesn't mean that it's the truth. The actor himself mentioned in the same interview that he's not new to keeping secrets with regard to projects he's a part of, having been on Doctor Who for a while. Considering that filming for the movie has already wrapped up, there's no way that Smith wouldn't know if he's part of the ensemble cast of the film. It's highly possible, however, that he just didn't want to give anything away about his role and the film, so he opted to not tell the truth. Although, if he was trying to evade the question, he could've refused to comment instead of explicitly denying the casting reports. Things will hopefully clear up with expected announcements coming for the movie and everything else for the franchise at Star Wars Celebration next month in Chicago.
Source: LA Times
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019