Star Wars Episode 9: JJ Abrams Bringing Keri Russell To The Cast

Russell reunites with JJ Abrams for the upcoming Star Wars movie.

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Star Wars: Episode IX is set to start production this summer ahead of its December 2019 release. The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams is returning to the director's chair, along with most of the main cast from The Last Jedi. But as ever, there will be a host of new characters, and it has been reported the The Americans star Keri Russell has joined the cast.

According to Variety, Russell was one of several actors that Abrams considered for the currently-unknown role. Russell has worked with Abrams before, having appeared in the director's 2006 action hit Mission: Impossible III. As well as the lead role in FX's acclaimed show The Americans, Russell also appeared in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

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Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac are all expected to return for Episode IX. Ridley has already stated that this will be her final Star Wars movie. "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 said. "So in my head, it's three films. I think it will feel like the right time to round it out."

Abrams joined the movie in September last year, following the departure of original director Colin Trevorrow. Although little is known about Episode IX at this stage, Abrams has already stated that he won't play it safe with his second Star Wars film. "I feel like we need to approach this with the same excitement that we had when we were kids loving what these movies were," he said. "But at the same time, we have to take them places that they haven't gone, and that's sort of our responsibility."

Episode IX hits theaters on December 20, 2019 and is currently the only other Star Wars movie on Disney's release schedule. Despite rumors that the studio might have stopped development on some of its planned spin-offs following the financial disappointment of the recent Solo: A Star Wars Story, last month a Disney spokesman denied this was the case. In addition, there are two separate Star Wars movies series in the works, one from The Last Jedi's Rian Johnson, the other from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

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