Matt Smith joins 'Star Wars: Episode IX'

Fresh off his role as Prince Philip in The Crown (oh, and a rather obscure British TV show called Doctor Who), Matt Smith has joined the cast of the yet-unnamed ninth installment of the Star Wars saga. He joins Dominic Monaghan, Keri Russell, Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant as newcomers to the series. Episode IX is scheduled to open on December 20th, 2019.

Matt Smith Joins 'Star Wars: Episode IX' [Aaron Couch/Hollywood Reporter][Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons] Read the rest

Original Star Wars trilogy scribe Lawrence Kasdan reportedly attached to new trilogy, plus Simon Kinberg

That didn't take long: within one month, we got all of our screenwriters lined up for the new Disney-Lucasfilm Star Wars trilogy, and one of them is a pretty reliable man for the job. As we reported earlier, Michael Arndt will be taking Episode VII, and now it's being reported that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg will take on Episodes VIII and IX, though it's unspecified who will take which script. If you recall, Kasdan wrote both Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and if I may make a wild prediction, I'm going to call the final episode for him. Let the veteran round out the new trilogy. Kinberg is also hardly a slouch, having written Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Sherlock Holmes, plus he's currently writing the sequel to X-Men: First Class, on which he was a producer. (In other words, experience in sci-fi/fantasy franchises.) Both Kasdan and Kinberg will also join Kathleen Kennedy as producers on both films.

All three of the new movies will be based on story notes from George Lucas, but will be written and directed by others. Probably the best thing for Star Wars that George Lucas could ever do at this point.

The Hollywood Reporter (and several other sites) seem to have this news all but confirmed. Disney-Lucasfilm have not offered a comment yet, except to say that they will make an official announcement on StarWars.com, where they confirmed Arndt's role. For the moment, that is still the most recent news item. Read the rest