As it has for the past few years, Star Wars speculation has run rampant this summer, with the primary focus being the in-production Star Wars: Episode IX. One rumor that has been going around, for example, is that Richard E. Grant will be playing the legendary Grand Admiral Thrawn... but hopefully there aren't many of you who have put stock in that idea. The actor himself has now gone on the record shutting that idea down, saying,
I'm not playing the Star Wars character you just mentioned. I'm not allowed to tell you anything. Otherwise I would be fired. It's a complete lockdown on any information whatsoever.
In an interview with RadioTimes, Richard E. Grant was specifically asked how he was "preparing for the role of Thrawn" in the making of Star Wars: Episode IX, but the actor was apparently quick in shutting that idea down. He noted that he really couldn't say anything about the part, referencing the famous security and secrecy surrounding the legendary science-fiction franchise, but he apparently could confirm that he won't be playing the blue alien first introduced to the saga in author Timothy Zahn's beloved series of movie-inspired novels (casually known as the Thrawn Trilogy).
Grand Admiral Thrawn had previously been removed from Star Wars canon, as all non-movie and TV entries in the franchise were declared "Legends" when Disney purchased Lucasfilm, but that recently changed. In late 2016 he was reintroduced to the universe via the third series of the series Star Wars Rebels; and since then Zahn has written a new canon book, Star Wars: Thrawn, which was released in the first half of last year. He has yet to make his debut in live-action, however, and it apparently won't start with a Richard E. Grant performance in Star Wars: Episode IX.
We currently know nothing about Richard E. Grant's role in the 2019 blockbuster - with the exception of two things: 1) he is ridiculously excited to be playing a part in the franchise; and 2) he will be surrounded in the movie by an outstanding cast. Along with franchise regulars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher, Lupita Nyong'o, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Joonas Suotamo, Anthony Daniels, and Billie Lourd, Star Wars: Episode IX will feature the talents of not only Grant as a newcomer, but also Keri Russell (also in a totally unknown role). The film is currently in production, and slated to arrive at a theater near you on December 20, 2019.
Naturally, we here at CinemaBlend are incredibly hungry for details about Star Wars: Episode IX - including the title - and if you feel the same way, we recommend staying tuned here in the coming weeks and months.