We may not have a single official casting announcement for Star Wars: Episode VII, but we have a release date: December 18, 2015.
The date was announced in an official press release from Lucasfilm and Disney Thursday afternoon, narrowing the former 2015 window to the single actual day of release. The release date is a major departure for Star Wars. All six live-action films of the first two trilogies were released in May of their respective years. However, Disney, Lucasfilm's owner, has Avengers: Age of Ultron coming in May 2015, and likely didn't want to cannibalize their own viewership that month.
“We’re very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture,” said Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios in the press release.
The release also reconfirmed that shooting for the film will begin in Spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios in the UK. The movie is being directed by J.J. Abrams off a script by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan. John Williams is scoring the film.