Matt Smith has joined the cast of Star Wars Episode IX. The Crown actor will reportedly appear in a key role.
Having previously starred in Doctor Who, where he played the Eleventh version of the titular Time Lord from 2010 to 2013, Smith is certainly no stranger to the genre and is sure to feel right at home while shooting the J.J. Abrams- directed production.
The film is set to follow on from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the latest movie in the epic fantasy franchise directed by Rian Johnson. The instalment saw Daisy Ridley’s Rey strengthen her connection to the Force alongside Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker, meanwhile, Carrie Fisher’s Leia Organa learned the hardships and sorrows of leading a rebellion.
Smith won’t be the only new face seen getting up to all kinds of space antics opposite the likes of Carrie Fisher’s Leia, Hamill, Driver, John Boyega and Ridley either. In recent weeks, it has also been announced that The Americans actor Keri Russell, The Lord of the Rings‘ Dominic Monaghan and Richard E Grant will also star in the upcoming sequel.
Both Russell and Monaghan have worked with Abrams before; the former, on drama Felicity and action blockbuster Mission: Impossible III and the latter, television series Lost.
Talking about reuniting with the filmmaker, Russell previously told Deadline: “It is just so much more fun to work with someone that you like so much. I mean, we see each other and then we talk nonstop and fill in all the details of the past years, and you know, it’s just nice when you have that kind of fun and history with someone.
“It makes it all that much more enjoyable. When J.J. calls so unexpectedly, cool things happen.”
For now, their roles are being kept under wraps, however, there’s been some speculation online as to whether Russell might be playing Rey’s mother. Similarly, it had been rumoured that Grant was set to bring Grand Admiral Thrawn, who was first introduced in the 1991 novel Heir to the Empire and later seen in Star Wars Rebels, to life.
More recently though, Grant has quashed that fan theory.
“I’m not playing the Star Wars character you just mentioned,” he told the Radio Times after they probed him for confirmation on whether he was portraying Thrawn. “I’m not allowed to tell you anything. Otherwise I would be fired. It’s a complete lockdown on any information whatsoever.”