NEW YORK - It appears the Force is still strong with Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.
In an interview posted online Thursday, George Lucas said the trio from the original "Star Wars" trilogy will reprise their iconic roles of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia in the new "Star Wars" film.
Lucas told Bloomberg Businessweek that all three were signed for the new "Episode VII" film in advance of Lucasfilm's $4 billion purchase by Disney.
In an interview posted Wednesday with Florida's Palm Beach Illustrated, Fisher said she'll be coming back as Princess Leia.
Disney's Lucasfilm was coy in response. In a statement, a spokesperson for the company said, "George couldn't say whether they were signed or not and neither can we.
The Walt Disney Co. is producing a new "Star Wars" trilogy to take place after Lucas' original three space epics. J.J. Abrams is directing the first film.
Ford, 70, Hamill, 61, and Fisher, 56, are expected to play smaller, supporting roles.
A representative for Ford would not comment. Hamill's representatives didn't immediately return requests for comment.
In a related development, Disney CEO Bob Iger said at the annual shareholders meeting in Phoenix Wednesday that the company is developing "some standalone movies" featuring Star Wars characters.
The news is likely to set off a new round of speculation about what's in store for the Lucasfilm franchise. The buzz has been at fever pitch levels since The Walt Disney Co. said in October it was acquiring the studio for $4 billion.