After months of speculation, J.J. Abrams and the Lucasfilm team have announced the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII — which will include Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford. The news comes after multiple alleged sightings of the actors in London this week.
Along with the original trio, Peter Mayhew will return as Chewbacca, along with Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker as C-3PO and R2-D2, respectively. Newcomers include big names like Andy Serkis and Max von Sydow. In a statement, director J.J. Abrams said, "We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud."
The full list of announced actors is as follows:
- Mark Hamill
- Carrie Fisher
- Harrison Ford
- Peter Mayhew
- Anthony Daniels
- Kenny Baker
- John Boyega (Attack the Block)
- Adam Driver (Girls)
- Domhnall Gleeson (About Time)
- Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis)
- Daisy Ridley (Toast of London)
- Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings, King Kong)
- Max von Sydow (The Exorcist, Minority Report)
Even though the film has yet to start filming, Episode VII has been a major production for some time, with a rumor mill devoted to its inner workings. Abrams has held directing duties since January of last year, but took on writing duties alongside Empire Strikes Back scribe Lawrence Kasdan from the film's original writer Michael Arndt. Since that time, rumors swirled about the pair rethinking the story on a fundamental level.
Meanwhile, talk had been percolating that the original cast would join, but a wild card always seemed to be Ford, who is reluctant to talk about Star Wars and even wanted Han Solo killed off in Return of the Jedi. However, according to a report from Deadline last night, Han Solo is said to have a "gigantic" role in Episode VII, so whatever Abrams has in store was enough to pass his threshold at the very least. Star Wars: Episode VII is slated to hit theaters on December 18th, 2015.