The Mandalorian set pics, new acting rumor

Making Star Wars is back with more set pics from The Mandalorian. There’s a door, an alien and someone who seems to be an important cast member. Not sure how many more we’ll have coming, as the authorities seem to be onto them.

A new rumor says that in addition to directing episodes, Bryce Dallas Howard and Taika Waititi will also have roles in the series. Discussing Film says that Waititi may be voicing a droid.

Rumor: The most dangerous man in the Universe? Matt Smith is coming for Episode IX

And another big geek name reportedly joins Episode IX… Matt Smith (The Crown, Doctor Who in a “key role,” Variety reports.

Smith is best known as the Eleventh Doctor on Doctor Who from 2010-2013, while he most recently received an Emmy nomination for playing Prince Phillip in Netflix’s The Crown.

If this pans out, he’ll be the third Doctor to have a Star Wars role in recent years, though the first in a film. His Who predecessor, 10th Doctor David Tennant, voiced Jedi training droid Huyang in The Clone Wars, while 4th Doctor Tom Baker voiced the pivotal role of Bendu in S3 of Rebels. With two of the three trilogies filmed in the U.K., there’s a wealth of other crossovers between the two franchises, including a weird stint with Peter Cushing in the 60s. Other Who alumni to have appeared in Star Wars include Rogue One’s Felicity Jones, IX’s Richard E. Grant and Naomi Ackie. And going the other way around, Warwick Davis guest-starred in a 2013 episode during Smith’s tenure.

Dominic Monaghan joins the Star Wars

Deadline reports that Dominic Monaghan (Lost, Lord of the Rings) has snagged a role in Episode IX. Monaghan himself seemingly confirms: “The galaxy far far away has had almost as much influence as the one I live in, so I am delighted to be involved,” he said.

Yesterday, he posted this:

Seems apropos @starwars @ragandbone #becurious

A post shared by Dominic Monaghan (@dom_monaghan_) on

Monaghan was among the reams of actors who expressed an interest back when The Force Awakens was gearing up.

Rumor: Episode IX will finish filming by February

A report from Geeks Worldwide/Omega Underground says that filming on J.J. Abrams’ Episode IX is expected to complete filming by February. The movie began shooting August 1.

Why should the average fan care? After all, the movie still won’t be out until December 2019. But the end of filming is sometimes used as a reason for major announcements… Like titles, as was the case for Solo and The Force Awakens.

It’s not a hard and fast rule: The Last Jedi wrapped principal photography in July and didn’t announce the title until January, although we know now that Rian Johnson had it very early on. And Rogue One had the title before it began filming. But it’s possible – 50/50 – we’ll learn the IX title in February.

Omega Underground hasn’t originated many rumors, but they were the first to report that Paul Inglis was hired as the IX art director

Report: Billy Dee Williams returning for IX

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.

Report: Keri Russell in talks for Episode IX

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.