Here's the full release:
The Star Wars team is thrilled to announce the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.
Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film.
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."
Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from 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 movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.
While original stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford had dropped hints that they would be reprising their roles for the new chapter, which takes place around 35 years after "Return of the Jedi," nothing was confirmed until today. As expected, the trio will be joined by longtime castmates Kenny Baker (R2-D2), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO, the only actor to appear in all six episodes to date).
New additions include Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver, who recently appeared together in the Coen brothers' 2013 folk music drama "Inside Llewyn Davis." Also onboard: Andy Serkis (best known as Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy), Domhnall Gleeson ("About Time") and the legendary Max von Sydow ("The Exorcist"). Fresh faces John Boyega ("Attack the Block") and Daisy Ridley (who has appeared in just a handful of BBC dramas) round out the cast.
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.