"Star Wars: Episode VII" may have already started filming without every role officially filled, but The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed one more actor that we can count on seeing (behind lots of fur).
The trade is reporting that Peter Mayhew will be reprising his role as Chewbacca in "Episode VII." He is officially the first member of the original trilogy cast to join the J.J. Abrams-directed continuation.
A recently cancelled appearance at the Comicpalooza convention in Texas "due to filming" fueled speculation in recent weeks that Mayhew would return as the man behind the Wookiee mask.
Aside from an announcement that R2-D2 would appear in "Episode VII," the return of Chewbacca is one of the first elements of the original trilogy to line-up for the continuing story. It's largely presumed that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford will all reprise their roles, but Disney and Lucasfilm have yet to confirm the presence of Luke, Leia and Han.
From what we officially know about the story of "Episode VII," Chewbacca, R2 and other yet-to-be-announced familiar faces will join three young leads in the next adventure in that galaxy far, far away.
Thus far, "Girls" star Adam Driver is the only actor new to the franchise close to joining the cast. Lucasfilm has yet to officially acknowledge Driver as the film's villain, but with production getting underway, expect an official announcement soon.
Other actors mentioned as possibilities for roles include "Attack the Block" star John Boyega and Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o.
"Star Wars: Episode VII" is scheduled to hit theaters on December 18, 2015.