While her critically acclaimed role on The Americans has ended, Keri Russell looks to have no plans of slowing down as Variety reports that she has entered early talks to join the cast of Star Wars: Episode IX.
Russell’s breakout show, Felicity, was executive producers by JJ Abrams, who will co-write and direct Episode IX.
The casting report claims that “The role calls for action-heavy fight scenes,” which may have felt outside of Russell’s wheelhouse until recent years, but roles on The Americans and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes have cemented her badass cred. Matt Reeves, who co-created Felicity with Abrams, directed Russell in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Abrams and Lucasfilm execs met with several actresses for the role in the past two months and settled on Russell right before the Fourth of July holiday. Abrams will likely cast two more actors by the time the film begins production at the end of the month. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Adam Driver are all expected to return.
Russell will step into a franchise reeling from the loss of Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia, and likely provide a strong and veteran female presence in the film.
Episode IX has been riddled with production news after it was announced that Colin Trevorrow and Lucasfilm parted ways over creative differences, opening up a slot for the final installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. This led to Abrams, who directed The Force Awakens, to come back into the fold as director and co-writer (Batman V Superman writer Chris Terrio is writing the script with Abrams).
Star Wars: Episode IX lands in theaters on December 20, 2019.