While the only official cast member revealed by Lucasfilm and Disney so for for Star Wars Episode VII remains R2D2, the astromech droid who has appeared in all six live action movies, plus multiple television shows and video games, another well-sourced (and hand-to-forehead “duh”) report comes from THR that Chewbacca is back as well, with his original actor.
Rumors of Peter Mayhew reprising the role as the copilot Wookiee have been around, gone, and back again in recent months, and while, again, Disney isn’t officially announcing anything here, it’s a pretty safe bet he’s back for real this time. That would likely put him alongside the also-heavily-rumored-unconfirmed returnees Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher, and up against the villain reportedly being played by Adam Driver. Driver is an interesting case, as Kathleen Kennedy, head of Lucasfilm’s production company tweeted out the Driver story on Variety, only to delete the tweet - seemingly being confirmation of that report.
Disney chairman Alan Horn said that the cast is “mostly set” and that some early shooting for the film has already begun, though filming will begin in earnest in May.
Star Wars: Episode VII starring R2D2 and a whole bunch of rumors/reports, hits theaters December 18, 2015. Look for some official press release-style casting to hit in the near future.