J.J. Abrams posted his first tweet to his personal account to mark the first day of shooting on Episode IX. “Bittersweet starting this next chapter without Carrie, but thanks to an extraordinary cast and crew, we are ready to go.” he tweeted. “Grateful for @rianjohnson and special thanks to George Lucas for creating this incredible world and beginning a story of which we are lucky to be a part. #IX”
Jason Ward at Making Star Wars weighs in with some fresh rumors on a possible place IX will go for location shooting. Jordan was a possibility for Jakku in The Force Awakens, and was used in Rogue One for Jedha. Could a revisit to one of those places be in order?
J.J. Abrams’ Episode IX will begin filming on August 1 at London’s Pinewood Studios, StarWars.com has announced, confirming that Billy Dee Williams, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher (via unused The Force Awakens footage) will be returning.
Interestingly, the release calls IX “the final installment of the Skywalker saga.”
As expected, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Anthony Daniels, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd are also returning. They’re being joined by new (to Star Wars) faces, Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant.
More details on the Fisher footage:
The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” says Abrams. “Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”
Composer John Williams and Director of Photography Dan Mindel are also returning.
Of course Mark Hamill, big geek, is apparently roaming San Diego Comic-Con “incognito.” His Twitter reveal of his Thursday “disguise” (or one of them) does show that he seems to be growing back his beard, which was noticeably absent a week ago.
Is Greg Grunberg’s Snap Wexley coming back for Episode IX? “We better, or else my wife’s gonna kill me for growing the beard,” Grunberg said during a chat with Yahoo at SDCC. “I can’t officially say anything,” he continued. “But this is getting itchy. I’m getting itchy to go over there and do it. So yeah, we’ll see.”
Temmin “Snap” Wexley was one of the Black Squadron X-wing pilots in The Force Awakens. The character is a regular in the Poe Dameron comics, which is currently embarking on a storyline that explains what they were up to during The Last Jedi. As a teenager, the character is one of the leads in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy.
Grunberg is a childhood pal of Episode IX director J.J. Abrams and appears in much of his work. IX is due to begin shooting very soon.
Lando Calrissian is coming back – again. The Hollywood Reporter, backing up a Fantha Tracks report from last month, is now saying that Billy Dee Williams will reprise the role in Episode IX.
A younger version of Lando, played by Donald Glover, appeared in May’s Solo, but Billy Dee hasn’t been on screen since Return of the Jedi, though he did do some voice work as the character on Rebels.
IX is due to begin filming at the end of the month, so if this rumor does pan out, we’ll likely hear soon.
J.J. Abrams may be bringing a familiar face with him to Episode IX. Keri Russell is in talks for a role, Variety reports today. The role reportedly calls for “action-heavy fight scenes”, something she has experience with in her recent roles on FX’s The Americans, Mission: Impossible and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Variety also says that Abrams is looking to cast two more roles before the end of the month, when filming is due to begin.
Russell starred in Abram’s first TV show, Felicity.
Is a newish filming location for an old world set to return?
The Last Jedi and Rebels were both winners at last night’s Saturn Awards. Mark Hamill won Best Actor, with Rian Johnson winning Best Writing and Bob Ducsay taking Best Editing. Star Wars Rebels was named Best Animated TV Series.
Black Panther was the night’s biggest winner, with five awards, including Best Comic-to-Film, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress for Danai Gurira.