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It's was just over six months ago when it was reported that, among the names like Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant and a returning Billy Dee Williams, former Doctor Who star Matt Smith was joining the cast of Star Wars Episode IX. We hadn't heard much since then, and the initial report seemed solid, so we all went on our merry way looking for more Star Wars details, but now it appears the initial report may not have been entirely accurate, as Smith himself now says he's not actually in the movie at all. According to Smith himself...
As far as I can tell, I’m definitely not
The quote comes courtesy of the L.A. Times who recently sat down with Smith for an interview. While the profile doesn't go any further than Smith's single quote, the statement does appear to be quite definitive.
The initial report from Variety said little more than that Smith would be in the movie, no information on his character was revealed. Still the source tended to be accurate and there was no initial denial from Smith or anybody else that the story wasn't true. Of course, there also wasn't a confirmation and many of those who have been cast have been able to admit it, even if they can't say much more than that.
If we wanted to believe that the initial report was true, there is certainly room to parse Matt Smith's statement in a number of different ways. Maybe Smith is in Star Wars Episode IX, but he'll play an alien, meaning we'll never actually see the actor himself on the screen. Maybe Smith filmed a scene, but he's already aware that it will likely be edited out of the final cut, meaning he was going to be in the movie, but now he won't be. That would explain the odd "as far as I can tell" part of the statement.
Of course, Matt Smith could also be straight up lying. It wouldn't be the first time that somebody just lied about the truth of a movie in order to attempt to keep a secret. Episode IX is being directed by J.J. Abrams after all, the same guy who directed Star Trek Into Darkness, the film where everybody swore up and down that Benedict Cumberbatch wasn't playing Khan, before we all saw the movie and learned he was totally playing Khan.
While these things are possible, the more likely scenario is that Smith is telling the truth and he's not in Star Wars Episode IX. Maybe he was in talks to be in the movie but those talks fell through. The news that Matt Smith had joined Star Wars: Episode IX came within only a few days of the news that Dominic Monaghan had also joined the cast. Maybe they were both up for the same role, and Smith lost out, then the rumor mill got its wires crossed. It wouldn't be the first time that happened either.
Or maybe the whole things was just a bunch of crap.
We'll know the truth one way or another this December when Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters.