Fresh off the series finale of The Americans—arguably the best show on television, at least in Paste’s opinion—Keri Russell is in early talks to join the cast of Star Wars: Episode IX. Variety reported the story first.
After helming The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams retook control of the franchise following Rian Johnson’s, well, let’s just say divisive second installment in the sequel trilogy, The Last Jedi, and after director Colin Trevorrow exited the new project, citing creative differences with Lucasfilm.
Previously, Abrams worked with Russell on Mission: Impossible III in 2006. Because the role calls for intense action work, Russell’s physicality in her work on Dawn of Planet of the Apes and The Americans helped her to land the role.
Before production begins at the end of July, two new actors are expected to join the cast. Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and Adam Driver are all set reprise their roles. No word yet on whether Russell will know the power of the dark side and join the First Order, or side with the rebel army.
Star Wars: Episode IX is due out Dec. 20, 2019, ensuring an ample window for an all-out merch and media blitz just in time for Christmas.