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'Star Wars' Cast Revealed on Facebook, Arndt and Lucas Not Mentioned

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 29, 2014 at 1:10PM

After all the speculation over recent months, Disney and Lucasfilm--whose leaders Robert Iger and Kathleen Kennedy have joined forces-- announced the cast of the new J.J. Abrams "Star Wars" movie. On Facebook.
'Star Wars Episode VII' cast
'Star Wars Episode VII' cast
J.J. Abrams
J.J. Abrams

After all the speculation over recent months, Disney and Lucasfilm--whose leaders Robert Iger and Kathleen Kennedy have joined forces-- announced the cast of J.J. Abrams' $200-million "Star Wars" movie.  

On Facebook and  

John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join original stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in “Star Wars: Episode VII.”

Lucasfilm plans a May 2014 start date for a release on December 18, 2015. As ever, the "Star Wars" timeline is complex, so the team needed to map their schedule far in advance. Iger recently revealed that the new "Star Wars" iteration would be set 30 years after 1983′s “Return of the Jedi." Here's Disney's Alan Horn on Bloomberg

'Star Wars: Episode VII'
'Star Wars: Episode VII'

Abrams stated:

"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."

Here's the official credit block: 

"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.

Abrams talked about the new movie here; he and his producing partner Bryan Burk are producing for Bad Robot with Kennedy as exec producer for Lucasfilm. Abrams and "Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" scribe Lawrence Kasdan did a rewrite on the script by Oscar-winner Michael Arndt ("Toy Story 3"). The announcement does not mention Arndt's name--that will be an interesting WGA arbitration. He worked on script for quite a while before getting bumped. Also not mentioned in the announcement: retired Lucasfilm founder and original "Star Wars" writer-director George Lucas, who was one of the first Hollywood players to interact directly with his fanbase.

This article is related to: Star Wars, J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm, Harrison Ford, Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures

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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.