American actor Adam Driver is to join the dark side in 'Star Wars: Episode VII', due December 2015.
Driver's participation is not much more than a formality away, according to Variety.
The actor's stock has risen sharply thanks to the success of HBO's series 'Girls' and roles in 'J. Edgar', 'Lincoln' and 'Inside Llewyn Davis'.
The villain that Driver's now destined for remains secret, however, although J.J. Abrams is looking to create a new iconic character on the level of Darth Vader.
'Star Wars VII' is to start shooting in March at London's Pinewood Studios.
The action film will be set some 30 years after the events of 'Star Wars III: Return of the Jedi' (1983), marked by the apparent fall of the evil Empire.
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are expected to guest as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo in the highly anticipated feature, made possible by Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm in the fall of 2012.