This may make you growl with excitement: "Star Wars: Episode VII" has reportedly added a beloved veteran character -- Chewbacca.
Peter Mayhew has joined the cast of the anticipated sequel and will reprise his role as the furry Wookiee, the Hollywood Reporter said on Monday, April 7. Spokespeople for production company Lucasfilm, owned by the Walt Disney Company, and the 69-year-old British actor had no immediate comment.
If confirmed, this would mark the second original "Star Wars" cast member to officially join the new film. Disney CEO and President Bob Igor said in March that android R2-D2, also from the original trilogy, would appear in the new movie.
Chewbacca, nicknamed Chewie, co-piloted Han Solo's ship, the Millennium Falcon, in the original trilogy and also made an appearance in the 2005 film "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith." "Star Wars: Episode VII" is set for release on Dec. 18, 2015 and picks up more than 30 years after the events of "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi." J.J. Abrams, who helmed the new "Star Trek" movies, is the director.
"Star Wars: Episode VII," the first of a new and third trilogy, has already begun filming and most of the actors have been cast, the Hollywood Reporter recently quoted Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn as saying.
Last year, "Star Wars" creator George Lucas confirmed that talks were held with original "Star Wars" actors Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill about having them reprise their roles. Their involvement in the new film has not been confirmed.
(Pictured above: Peter Mayhew appears with a person dressed as Chewbacca at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo at the Gold Coast Exhibition and Convention Centre in the Broadbeach area of Queensland, Australia on Sunday, April 6, 2014. Credit: Andrew Carlile / Startraksphoto.com)