After that the list dissolves into a list of "who?" with John Boyega (Attack the Block), Daisy Ridley (?), Adam Driver (Girls, rumored playing movie's big bad), Oscar Isaac (?), Domhnall Gleeson (oldest Weasley brother in Harry Potter films), and Max von Sydow (legendary actor but not known for sci-fi & action films).
The exception for genre fans being Andy Serkis who is considered one of the leading experts on motion capture and reached critical exclaim playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and Ceasar in Planet of the Apes. And since Abrams pigeon-holes like the best of them, if is a safe bet that Serkis will be mo-capping his way through the movie. A cast of almost complete unknowns has the precedent of the first Star Wars trilogy but it is hard to ignore the lack of women. Especially since Star Wars was the precursor to the bad-ass female lead (Leia) before Alien showed how to really do it right. Filming for the movie is expected to start sometime in May in London and other locations with the usual Abrams cone of silence in place. The movie remains on track for a December 18, 2015 release. Full press release below:
The Star Wars team is thrilled to announce the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.
Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film.
Director J.J. Abrams says, "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."
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. The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.