George Lucas has apparently confirmed that Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher have "already signed" for the next Star Wars movie.
The filmmaker sold his company Lucasfilm to Disney in a £2.5 billion deal last year, but will still be involved as more films in the franchise are made, starting with JJ Abrams' upcoming Episode 7.
Speculation has been rife about whether Harrison, Mark and Carrie - who starred in the original Star Wars trilogy - would be reprising the roles of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. And now George has apparently let slip to Business Week that they are on board. He revealed talks had been held with the cast about the new movie before Lucasafilm had even been sold.
He said: "We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison - or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, 'Look, this is what's going on'."
He continued: "Maybe I'm not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them."
George then appeared to back track further, saying: "I won't say whether the negotiations were successful or not."
Carrie, 56, recently revealed to Palm Beach Illustrated that she would play Leia again, although she didn't indicate whether that would be in Episode 7 or one of the standalone Star Wars films that is being planned.
And earlier this year Latino Review reported that Harrison, 70, would be returning as Han Solo. Mark, 61, has also confirmed that he has been discussing a return to the franchise.