Ladies and gentlemen, the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII has officially been announced….
Following months of ongoing speculation, it has been confirmed that there are several new faces who have signed up for the hugely-anticipated seventh film of the Star Wars saga.
The actors sighted in the above cast photo are John Boyega, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, newcomer Daisy Ridley, Andy Serkis and Oscar-nominated veteran Max von Sydow.
As most of us had predicted, original stars Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Kenny Baker (R-2) are also set to feature.
Below is a slideshow which consists of the newcomers who have landed key roles in the seventh film of the franchise.
Firstly, Boyega is a British actor who made his cinematic breakthrough as Moses in the sci-fi comedy Attack the Block (2011) and is set to appear in the upcoming 24 special Live Another Day.
Driver is best known for his role as Adam Sackler in HBO’s female-dominated show Girls but has also featured in the likes of J. Edgar (2011), Frances Ha (2012) and Lincoln (2012). It has been rumoured that he could be playing the main villain of Episode VII.
Gleeson has previously appeared in the sequels of another major film franchise, Harry Potter (alongside his dad Brendan). He has also starred in True Grit (2010), Dredd (2012) and About Time (2013).
Isaac has enjoyed success in various Hollywood films including Robin Hood (2010), The Bourne Legacy (2012) and more recently, the critically-acclaimed Coen Brothers flick Inside Llewyn Davies (2013).
Ridley is an emerging young British actress who looks to have landed the main female role. Her screen career has mostly consisted of television appearances in Silent Witness and Mr Selfridge.
British actor Serkis is widely known to many film audiences for his excellent motion-capture performances as Kong in King Kong (2005), Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2012) and of course, as the slimey Gollum/Smeagol in another huge film franchise, the Lord of the Rings. He has also starred in his own self in Longford (2006), Burke & Hare (2010) and Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (2010).
Finally, Von Sydow is highly regarded as one of cinema’s greatest European actors and has produced memorable work in The Seventh Seal (1957), The Exorcist (1973), Flash Gordon (1980), Hannah and her Sisters (1986) and Shutter Island (2010). He has also garnered Oscar nominations for his performances in Pelle the Conqueror (1988) and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011).
On the headline-making news, director JJ Abrams said:
“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.”
Abrams, who previously helmed Cloverfield (2008) and the two Star Trek films (2009 & 2013), will direct from a screenplay he co-wrote alongside Empire Strikes Back writer Lawrence Kasdan.
Abrams will also be producing the film with Kathleen Kennedy and Bryan Burk while legendary composer John Williams returns to score.
The film will be set about 30 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.
It will soon begin shooting in London, where Ford, Fisher and Hamill were all spotted over the weekend. Some scenes will also be shot in Abu Dhabi, in an attempt to recreate the desert planet Tatooine.
Star Wars: Episode VII will open in cinemas worldwide on December 18th 2015.