By Eric Kelsey and Ronald Grover ,Reuters
LOS ANGELES — “Star Wars” original cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill are in talks to join the next installment of the science-fiction franchise, a person with knowledge of plans for the new film told Reuters on Thursday. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said lawyers had the contracts for all three actors and that an announcement would be made soon. Representatives for Ford, who played Han Solo in the first three films, declined to comment.
Reuters was unable to reach representatives for Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker from 1977 to 1983.
Fisher, who played Princess Leia in the first “Star Wars” trilogy, got the rumor mills buzzing this week after saying she would reprise her role in the new film, due in theaters in 2015, in an interview with U.S. magazine Palm Beach Illustrated.
Fisher’s spokeswoman, Carol Marshall, would not comment to Reuters on Fisher’s involvement in the upcoming film. Disney bought George Lucas’ Lucasfilm company in October 2012 for US$4.05 billion, and announced three new installments of the widely popular “Star Wars” franchise, which has grossed more than US$4.4 billion at the global box office.
Fans of the franchise have been eager to know whether any of the original cast members would be back. Bloomberg Businessweek on Thursday first reported in an interview with Lucas that the trio were in negotiations to join the new film. Lucasfilm spokeswoman Lynn Hale was unable to confirm whether all three stars would be returning for “Star Wars: Episode VII.”
The new film will be helmed by “Star Trek” director J.J. Abrams, and will be written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt.