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.
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.
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.
Solo will land on digital on September 14 and Blu-ray on September 24, Lucasfilm announced today. It will have eight deleted scenes, including what looks like it might be Han at the Imperial academy, and a whole slew of other bonus material.
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.
Ram Bergman, director Rian Johnson’s longtime producing partner, says we probably won’t see their new Star Wars trilogy for at least a couple of years. “Maybe in two years; it’s just in the early stages,” he said in an interview with From the Grapevine. He also reiterated that it will involve all new characters, and that “Everything is new.”