‘Squid Game’ Star Lee Jung-Jae Joins Disney+ ‘Star Wars’ Series ‘The Acolyte’

Squid Game” star Lee Jung-Jae has been cast as the male lead in Disney+’s “Star Wars” series “The Acolyte,” Variety has confirmed.

“Russian Doll” co-creator Leslye Headland is showrunning the series, with Amandla Stenberg (“The Hate U Give”) set to star in the leading woman role.

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Going farther back in time than any live-action “Star Wars” title before it, “The Acolyte” is set a century before the events of “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.” The series promises to depict the galaxy at the peak of the era of the High Republic, when the Jedi were at their strongest and the Sith were believed to have been eradicated from the galaxy.

Lee’s addition to “The Acolyte” series marks his first major role post-“Squid Game,” the hit Netflix drama that introduced him to global audiences. Next Monday, Lee and the “Squid Game” team will be attending the Emmys as nominees under the first non-English language series to ever be up for top drama.

Headland is drawing at least in part from Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The High Republic” publishing effort for her inspiration on “The Acolyte.” Announced in February 2020 and launched throughout 2021, the “High Republic” series spans comic books, audio dramas, web series and novels. They’ve served as a kind of R&D department for where Lucasfilm could next take “Star Wars” storytelling.

“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,” Headland told Vanity Fair in May. “My question when watching ‘The Phantom Menace’ was always like, ‘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? Like, what went wrong? What are the scenarios that led us to this moment?”

Deadline first reported Lee’s casting.

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