J.J. Abrams is well known for gravitating toward the same actors over and over again. He's got a reputation for being very loyal to his previous acting collaborators, and placing them in various film roles, no matter how minor. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, for instance, features Keri Russell, Greg Grunberg, and Dominic Monaghan — all of whom worked with the writer/director on Felicity or Lost.
However, there's another Abrams vet in Episode IX that we all overlooked: Karl Urban. Yes, The Boys star (who also played Bones McCoy in Abrams' rebooted Star Trek films) appears for a split second as a First Order stormtrooper around the 20-minute mark. If you listen closely, you can actually hear Billy Butcher himself introducing the audience to the Knights of Ren.
"Here's the process: I had the good fortune to go and visit J.J. Abrams while he was shooting The Rise of Skywalker. While I was there, he put me in a stormtrooper uniform and we had a really fun day on set," Urban told Digital Spy, which first broke the news. "It's been one of my life-long goals to be a stormtrooper, so I can tick that off now."
You can catch the actor in The Boys Season 2, which arrives on Amazon Friday, Sept. 4.
Jordan Peele is sticking to his genre wheelhouse as a producer on Sinkhole with Issa Rae. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the project is a supernatural flick about a family that moves into an idyllic home that happens to have a large sinkhole in the backyard. It "manages to take all things that are broken and destroyed and make them perfect again. But what if that thing is a person?" reads the synopsis.
In addition to producing, Rae (The Lovebirds) is expected to star in the Universal movie, which is said to be a "genre piece that engages on the question of female perfection and identity." Montrel McKay, Sara Rastogi, and Win Rosenfeld are also on board as producers.
Sinkhole is based on a short story by Leyna Krow, who is executive-producing alongside Alex Davis-Lawrence. The latter co-founded Moss, the literary journal in which the tale was originally published.
Helmed by Andrew Desmond (Entity), the movie stars Freya Tingley (Once Upon a Time) as Rose Fisher, a musical talent who inherits an evil mansion from her estranged conductor father (played by Hauer in one of his last screen roles). James Faulkner (Game of Thrones) also stars. Desmond co-wrote the screenplay with Arthur Morin.
"Well-crafted stories like this are always welcomed by the Crackle audience,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, said in a statement. “The Sonata combines the suspense of a thriller with the terror of classic horror to create a delicious cocktail of fright, that I know our fans will enjoy.”
"Desmond’s first directorial feature demonstrates a smooth craftsmanship and attractive aesthetic that elevates this thin material to an extent, and would certainly be welcome in a better-realized narrative context," Dennis Harvey wrote in his review for Variety.