The rumors can be put to rest. Word finally arrived Tuesday morning confirming precisely which actors will have a role in “Star Wars: Episode VII,” the film that will return George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away to the multiplex Dec. 18, 2015.
Adam Driver, best known for his role in HBO’s “Girls,” and Oscar Isaac, who won considerable acclaim for his turn in the Coen brothers “Inside Llewyn Davis,” will appear alongside Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson, performance capture expert Andy Serkis and venerable Swedish thespian Max von Sydow. Also in the mix are John Boyega, known for his work in the fan favorite film “Attack the Block,” and newcomer Daisy Ridley.
The principal actors from Lucas’ original saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker, are also set for director J.J. Abrams’ new film.
In a statement released on StarWars.com, Abrams said, “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.”
Abrams wrote the screenplay for “Episode VII” with Lawrence Kasdan, and he will produce with Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy and his longtime collaborator Bryan Burk. John Williams will return as the composer.
Abrams was tapped to direct “Star Wars: Episode VII” in January of last year; Kasdan, of course, has a long history with Lucasfilm, as a screenwriter on “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.”
The upcoming trilogy of new films was announced Oct. 30, 2012, when the Walt Disney Co. went public with its plans to acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion.
In addition to the three new episodes that begin with “Episode VII,” Disney has plans to explore the galaxy far, far away with two standalone “Star Wars” movies, penned by Kasdan and prolific writer-producer Simon Kinberg (“Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “X-Men: The Last Stand” “X-Men: Days of Future Past”).
“I think what worked so well in all of the ‘Star Wars’ movies is the characters,” Kinberg said in an interview. “I think the reason that they’re different than other science fiction or other genre movies is because George (Lucas) created a universe of people that you wanted to go back and see over and over again, and that’s why it’s spanned and spawned so many different mediums, so many different generations, every different language.”