Rejoice Star Wars fans, as Luck and the company are coming back for the next part of the legendary Star Wars francize, Episode VII. After months of speculation, J.J. Abrams and the Lucasfilm team have finally announced the full cast of the forthcoming film.
In the official announcement, director J.J. Abrams says, “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.”
It has been confirmed that the stars of the original trilogy, those are Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker, will be joining forces with some newcomers in a sequel, reportedly set 30 years after the events of the 1983 blockbuster “Return of the Jedi”.
New additions include Andy Serkis, known for his role of Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit’ trilogies, who will no doubt be bringing his skills as both a motion capture actor and quite possibly a second unit director to the project.
The new cast also boasts another big name of 85-year old Max Von Sydow, the legendary Swedish actor renowned for playing villains such as Emperor Ming the Merciless in “Flash Gordon” — coincidentally enough, the franchise that inspired Lucas to write Star Wars in the first place.
The Star Wars alumni take their places alongside a cast of younger actors, including “Attack the Block’s” John Boyega, “About Time’s” Domhnall Gleeson and Daisy Ridley. Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver, who previously worked together on the Coen brothers’ 60s-set folk drama “Inside Llewyn Davis” are also on the list.
The announcement brings an end to months of fevered speculation over the casting of Star Wars: Episode VII, with the likes of Zac Efron and Oscar-winning Lupita Nyong’o variously tipped to have roles in the production.
Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn confirmed last week that second unit filming has already been underway in remote locations like Abu Dhabi, but the principal cast will not start working in the UK until next month. That leaves them just 17 months for both production and post-production, which is ambitious considering the enormous scale of the project.
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. The movie is based on a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, and John Williams returns as the composer.
The pleasant news broke days after Lucasfilm announced that Episode VII would pay no heed to the continuity established in hundreds of novels and comics — effectively wiping the canon clean of everything but the six movies and the Clone Wars TV show.