Keri Russell is in early talks to join the cast of Star Wars: Episode IX. The star of FX’s The Americans is set to reunite with director J.J. Abrams with what would be their third collaboration, after working together on Felicity, which Abrams co-created and executive produced, and Mission: Impossible III.
Russell recently wrapped the final season of The Americans. Her other notable credits include Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Free State of Jones. It’s currently unknown whether or not Russell will be on the side of the Resistance or The First Order, or if she’s playing a character completely unaffiliated with the two.
The role calls for action-heavy fight scenes. Russell has shown her ability to perform tough stunts in her past projects, so coming onboard a Star Wars film wouldn’t be something completely foreign for the actress.
Abrams and Lucasfilm executives met with several actresses for the role over the past two months and settled on Russell right before the Fourth of July. Abrams is likely to cast two more actors by the time the film begins production at the end of the month, including a black female lead. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Adam Driver are all expected to return for Episode IX.
Abrams directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, the first new Star Wars film in 10 years after 2005’s Revenge of the Sith. The Force Awakens went on to gross $2.068 billion at the worldwide box office. Colin Trevorrow was initially hired to direct Episode IX back in August 2015, and was writing the film with Derek Connolly. In September 2017, Trevorrow stepped down as director following creative differences, and one week later it was announced that J.J. Abrams would return to direct Episode IX. Abrams co-wrote the film with Chris Terrio.
John Williams is returning to compose and conduct the score for Episode IX. It will also be Williams’ final Star Wars film as composer.
Star Wars: Episode IX blasts into theaters on December 20, 2019. Are you excited about Russell’s casting? Let us know down in the comments!