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 J.J. Abrams' $200-million "Star Wars" movie.
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.
"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.