“Squid Game” star Lee Jung-Jae has been cast as the male lead in Disney+’s upcoming “Star Wars” show “The Acolyte,” alongside previously announced star Amandla Stenberg.
Going farther back in time than any live-action “Star Wars” project before it, “The Acolyte” will take place in the last days of the High Republic Era, centuries before “The Phantom Menace,” where the thought-to-be eradicated Siths have returned. “Russian Doll” co-creator Leslye Headland will be showrunning.
Speaking to TheWrap last year, Headland — who is the first queer woman to be behind a “Star Wars” title — said “The Phantom Menace” appealed to her upon its release, when she was first discovering her sexuality.
“I actually was very intrigued by why George Lucas had started us at that particular point. I kind of wondered, but what happened to lead up to this? That’s kind of where my ‘Star Wars’ fan brain went was like, ‘How did we get here?’ And why are the Jedi like this? When they are in power, why are they acting this way and how is it that they’re not having the reaction that you would think they would to Anakin’s presence and what Qui-Gon Jinn is saying about how passionately he feels about training him and bringing him into the fold.”
The role marks Lee’s first since starring in the global phenomenon “Squid Game,” which introduced him to a worldwide audience. The actor is currently Emmy nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama for his empathetic yet corruptible turn as Seong Gi-hun. Lee is considered one of the most successful actors in South Korea, having won two Baeksang Arts Awards. He first broke out with the 1998 film “An Affair,” from filmmaker E J-yong, which he followed up with “City of the Rising Sun,” released that same year and for which he garnered a Blue Dragon Award and Korean Association of Film Critics award. He is also known for “The Face Reader,” “Deliver Us From Evil” and “New World.”
Deadline first reported the news.