Star Wars VII adds 2 to cast, announces hiatus to deal with Harrison Ford's injury

The Star Wars: Episode VII cast has just grown again. Plus, we've got an official update from the production on how it's dealing with Harrison Ford's injury.

Yesterday, via a press release on the Star Wars official site, Disney and Lucasfilm announced that two young actors, both of whom responded to the massive open casting call for Episode VII, have been cast in the J.J. Abrams-directed production. Nearly 70,000 hopefuls responded to the open casting call with both in-person and online applications, and these two were among the lucky few who actually earned a place in one of the most anticipated films of 2015. 

First, we've got Crystal Clarke, an American studying in Glasgow, U.K., who "has both stage and screen acting experience," and will make her feature film debut in the 2015 feature The Moon and the Sun. Then there's British actor Pip Andersen, who's described as "a skilled practitioner of parkour, a discipline that involves propelling oneself through any given environment with incredible grace and agility," and who recently appeared in a Sony-produced Spider-Man ad. As with every newcomer to the Star Wars cast, both Clarke and Andersen's roles are unspecified, but given Andersen's parkour experience, we wouldn't be surprised to see a lightsaber in his hand. 

“The Star Wars universe has always been about discovering and nurturing young talent and in casting Episode VII we wanted to remain absolutely faithful to this tradition," Lucasfilm president and Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy said. "We are delighted that so many travelled to see us at the open casting calls and that we have been able to make Crystal and Pip a part of the film."

The press release also gave an official update on how the production is dealing with the serious injury Ford suffered on set last month. Ever since it became clear that Ford's injury was much more severe than a sprained ankle -- he actually broke his leg and required surgery -- rumors have been swirling about how the production plans to work around his recovery and still make its 2015 release date, including a rumor that some of the story that would have focused on Ford will now be shifted over to Oscar Isaac's character. Well, Lucasfilm isn't talking about rewrites, but they have announced a two-week production hiatus coming up next month to accommodate Ford's recovery.

"In August, the team will take a brief two-week hiatus while adjustments to the current production schedule are made as actor Harrison Ford recovers from a leg injury. Harrison is doing well and is looking forward to returning to the set soon. Shooting remains on track to wrap in the fall with the film scheduled for release on December 18, 2015."

So, while we likely haven't heard the last of those rewrite rumors, we do at least have official word now of the production making adjustments for Ford. Whether that means we'll see less of him in the final film is unclear, but this press release did reinforce something we've been hearing for months: Disney is determined to make that December 2015 release date.

(Via Star Wars)

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