Papa Vinyard here, now here's a little somethin' for ya...
Disney still hasn't officially confirmed any cast members as-of-yet, but THR's reported something that previously didn't seem that likely: Peter Mayhew is, indeed, getting suited up once more to play the baddest Wookie this side of the Mid Rim, Chewbacca!!!
There were rumors that the 7' 3" actor was suffering from back and knee problems that would prevent him from participating alongside expected returnees Hamill, Ford, and Fisher, but apparently that's all bullshit. With a growl and a head-tilt back, Chewie is as ready as ever to co-pilot the Falcon and roll into battle with Han and the rest at least one more time. And we couldn't be happier for it.
This is totally not how I expected the first solid word of a returning cast member hire to go down, but it seems oddly perfect. Mayhew is the least known for his non-SW work of the principal returning good guys (save for maybe Anthony Daniels), but Chewbacca remains a beloved, iconic figure from the OT. If they wanted the first real fanboy casting response to be an unequivocal "HELL YEAH!", well, they played that hand beautifully in my opinion.
Alan Horn was saying that most of the cast is set as of last week, so expect a bunch more of these pseudo-official casting updates to pop up leading up to next month's May 14th start date.
STAR WARS: EPISODE VII will tell another story of a boy, a girl, and a universe on December 18th, 2015.