'Star Wars: Episode VII' Cast Revealed

Star Wars: Episode VII Cast Split - H 2014
<p>Star Wars: Episode VII Cast Split - H 2014</p>   |   AP Images
J. J. Abrams is helming the new "Star Wars" film, which will be set 30 years after the events of "Return of the Jedi."

The Force is with them.

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 Star Wars: Episode VII, the much-anticipated relaunch of the George Lucas sci-fi franchise now owned by Disney.

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The announcement was made Tuesday by Disney and Lucasfilm on the official Star Wars website.

The casting announcement caps off months of speculation about who would star as the trio of new leads in the J.J. Abrams-helmed film. Abrams, Lucasfilm and Disney have for months kept casting details as secretive as the plans for the Death Star.

But interest in the new movie has been so high that even simple actor meetings have been the subject of reports since last fall when it was first announced Abrams was actively on the hunt.

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Boyega (Attack the Block) and Isaac's (Inside Llewyn Davis) names have been circulating as possible stars of the franchise for months. THR previously reported that Driver will be playing an undisclosed villain.

Ridley is a relative newcomer whose past work includes mostly TV and short films. Gleeson, who received a Tony Award nomination in 2006 for his part in the The Lieutenant of Inishmore, played Bill Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows parts one and two.

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Serkis is known for his mocap work in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the Lord of the Rings films. Veteran actor Von Sydow most recently received an Oscar nomination for his work in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

Familiar faces from the original trilogy are expected to appear in the new film, which is slated to hit theaters on Dec. 18, 2015. Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are said to be returning, and, as THR exclusively reported, Peter Mayhew will reprise his role as Chewbacca.

In March, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger said the new project would begin filming in May and will be set 30 years after the events in 1983's Return of the Jedi.

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E-mail: Rebecca.Ford@THR.com
Twitter: @Beccamford