Solo: A Star Wars Story is behind us, which means now we have approximately a year and a half to go until the next entry in the Star Wars film series, Episode IX, arrives. As is the case with most blockbusters nowadays, Disney and Lucasfilm are staying quiet regarding Episode IX's story, but if there's one thing we can count on in a new Star Wars movie, it's that new characters will be introduced to a galaxy far, far away. With that in mind, it's just been revealed that the first new face to likely be cast in Episode IX is someone director/co-writer J.J. Abrams already has experience working with: Keri Russell.

Variety dropped the news that Keri Russell is in early talks to join the Star Wars: Episode IX cast. No details about her character were revealed, other than the fact that the role "calls for action-heavy fight scenes," something which Russell has plenty of experience doing in other movie and television projects. Supposedly J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm executives had been meeting with actresses over the last two months and settled on Russell right before the July 4th holiday. Abrams is reportedly expected to cast two additional actors by the time Episode IX kicks off production at the end of the month.

This will be Keri Russell's third collaboration with J.J. Abrams. First she starred as Felicity Porter in the ABC series Felicity for four seasons, and then she boarded 2006's Mission: Impossible III as Lindsey Farris. Russell's other notable credits include Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Free State of Jones and The Americans, the latter of which concluded its six-season run this past May. Assuming a deal is reached, knowing Lucasfilm, we'll probably have to wait a long time to learn how Russell fits into Star Wars: Episode IX. Is her character with The Resistance? Is she part of The First Order? Is she not affiliated with either group, yet is somehow dragged into the main events? Whoever this individual is, it sounds like she'll be able to hold her own in a brawl.

As far as familiar faces go, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver are also expected to return for Star Wars: Episode IX. Originally the plan was for Jurassic World's Colin Trevorrow to direct Episode IX, but due to creative differences, Trevorrow stepped down, and J.J. Abrams, who directed The Force Awakens, came back to helm the picture and co-write the script with Chris Terrio. This will also be the last Star Wars film that John Williams composes.

Star Wars: Episode IX opens in theaters on December 20, 2019, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on its development. As for what else the Star Wars film series has coming up, look through our handy guide.

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