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‘Squid Game’ Actor Lee Jung-Jae Cast in Disney+’s ‘Star Wars’ Series ‘The Acolyte’

Squid Game‘s lead star, Lee Jung-Jae has found his first major studio role following his performance on the Emmy Award-nominated survival drama television show. The SAG and Golden Globe Award-winning actor has been cast as the male lead in Disney+’s upcoming live-action Star Wars television series, The Acolyte, Deadline is reporting.

Lee will play the male lead on Lucasfilm’s latest Star Wars show. However, no further details about his character have been revealed yet.

Amandla Steinberg will play the series’ lead female role. Jodie Turner-Smith will also be joining the cast of The Acolyte.

Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Leslye Headland has signed on to serve as the project’s writer, director, executive producer and showrunner. She has been working closely with Lucasfilm’s executives, including President Kathleen Kennedy, to put together a diverse, A-list ensemble for the series.

The Acolyte is a mystery thriller that will delve into a galaxy of secrets and emerging Dark Side powers in the final days of the High Republic era, Disney+ said when it first announcing the project in December 2020. In the universe of Star Wars, acolyte can refer to individuals with Force abilities who learn from a more experienced Sith Lord.

Going farther back in time than any live-action Star Wars television series or movie before it, The Acolyte will be set a century before the events of Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. The upcoming show will depict the galaxy at the peak of the era of the High Republic. During that time, the Jedi were at their strongest and the Sith were believed to have been eradicated from the galaxy.

While developing The Acolyte, Headland is drawing in part from Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The High Republic for inspiration. “We’re taking a look at the political and personal and spiritual things that came up in a time period that we don’t know much about,” she told Vanity Fair in May.

“My question when watching The Phantom Menace was, ‘Well, how did things get to this point?’ How did we get to a point where a Sith lord can infiltrate the Senate and none of the Jedi pick up on it? What went wrong? What are the scenarios that led us to this moment?,” the filmmaker added.

In the year since Squid Game premiered on Netflix, every studio and streamer was looking to collaborate with Lee, the show’s breakout star. The series broke streaming records and received 14 Emmy nominations. He and one his co-stars, Jung Ho-yeon, will serve as presenters at the Emmy Awards ceremony, which will air this Monday, September 12.

Besides starring on Squid Game and being cast on The Acolyte, Lee is also known for his feature film directorial debut on the South Korean espionage action movie, Hunt. After premiering at the Cannes Film Festival on May 10, the drama was acquired by Magnolia Pictures. The distributor will release the movie in American theaters in December.

Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.

Karen Benardello
Karen Benardello
As a life-long fan of films and television shows, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic in 2008. Karen has since been working in the press in New York City, including interviewing film and television casts and crews, writing movie and television news articles and reviewing films and televisions series. Some of her highlights include attending such local events as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and New York Comic-Con, as well as traveling across North America to attend such festivals as the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the Toronto International Film Festival. She has been a member of the Women Film Critics Circle since 2012, and the New York Film Critics Online since 2019.


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