“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,” read the press release on Starwars.com.
You’ll recognize the names of the actors playing Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, Chewbacca and R2-D2. Ford, Fisher and Hamill’s participation has been something of an open secret for the last year and a half, ever since George Lucas accidentally mentioned to Bloomberg Businessweek they’d be returning; photos of the trio in London in recent days made the fact even more abundantly clear.
Left to right: Domhnall Gleeson, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega
- Domhnall Gleeson, son of Irish actor Brendan Gleeson, his film credits include About Time, Never Let Me Go and a recurring role as Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter films.
- Daisy Ridley, a British actress, whose TV career has included bit parts in Casualty, Mr Selfridge and Silent Witness. According to her agent’s website, she was cast in the second Inbetweeners movie last year.
- John Boyega, a 22-year-old British actor, who previously starred in the inner-London sci-fi Attack the Bock. Along with Gleeson and Ridley, he is expected to be one of the “trio of new young leads” announced by director Abrams earlier this year.
Left to right: Max von Sydow, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver
- Max von Sydow, a veteran actor equally recognisable as Knight Antonius Block in Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal and Father Lankester Merrin in The Exorcist. The 85-year-old Swede was Oscar nominated for his 9/11 drama Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close in 2012 and has previous sci-fi experience as Ming the Merciless in 1980′s Flash Gordon.
- Oscar Isaac, who played the lead role in the Coen Brothers’ Oscar-nominated drama Inside Llewyn Davis last year. He is reportedly in line for “a major role” in the franchise.
- Adam Driver, best known as Adam, the frequently shirtless love interest in cult sitcom Girls. He has been widely reported to be playing Star Wars’ main antagonist.
- Andy Serkis, a master of motion capture, famously responsible for creating Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Outside of CGI, his acting CV includes a Bafta-nominated turn as Ian Brady in the television film Longford.
And then there’s 85-year old Max Von Sydow, the legendary Swedish actor renowned for playing villains such as Emperor Ming in Flash Gordon — coincidentally enough, the franchise that inspired Lucas to write Star Wars in the first place.
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.