Actress Keri Russell is in talks with Lucasfilm to join the cast of Star Wars 9, according to a new report. Director J.J. Abrams and Keri Russell have worked together numerous times over the years, with the last time being on 2006's Mission: Impossible III. The production for Star Wars 9 is scheduled to begin at the end of this month, so it seems logical that more casting news will be announced in the coming weeks. Abrams is back on board after helming 2015's The Force Awakens.
Variety reports that Lucasfilm and J.J. Abrams have been meeting with several actresses over the last few months, but it's believed that the Star Wars 9 role was given to Keri Russell earlier this week. The report goes on to say that Russell's role calls for "action-heavy fight scenes," which the actress has plenty of experience in thanks to The Americans, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Mission: Impossible. It is unclear if Russell's character will be fighting for the Resistance or the First Order. That being said, the Resistance is in need of some allies, so it seems like a safe bet that Russell will be fighting alongside Rey, Poe, and Finn.
Variety's report also indicates that J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm are looking to add two more major stars before production on Star Wars 9 begins later this month. Keri Russell will join Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and more in the final installment of the new Star Wars trilogy. Abrams joined the project back in September of 2017 after Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow had parted ways. The director promises that he will not "play it safe" with Star Wars 9.
In other Star Wars 9 news, it was recently reported that the sequel could return to Yavin IV after news leaked that the production was heading to the Cardington Airship Sheds in England where A New Hope and Rogue One have filmed previously. It would make sense to see a return to one of the original sites of the Rebels from A New Hope, especially since Oscar Isaacs' Poe Dameron is from the planet. It has yet to be confirmed, but we should be able to tell once production is underway. Keri Russell's character could end up on Yavin IV to fight with the Resistance against the First Order.
While Keri Russell's Star Wars 9 role is a mystery at the moment, we should get some intel in the coming weeks when production begins. The last installment in the new trilogy hits theaters on December 20, 2019 and it's currently the only Star Wars film with an official release date. The controversy surrounding Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi and the box office shortcomings of Solo: A Star Wars Story certainly put the new production in an interesting place that is uncharted territory for the Star Wars franchise. You can read more about Keri Russell joining the cast of Star Wars 9 over at Variety.