Chewbacca is set to make a welcome return to the big screen in the new Star Wars film.

The Hollywood Report has reported that Peter Mayhew, 69, will reprise his role as the Wookie in the new film, which will be directed by J J Abrams.

Chewy, Han Solo's loyal co-pilot, appeared in the original Star Wars trilogy and Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith.

Mayhew was initially rumoured to be the first character from the original trilogy returning for the new film after he cancelled an appearance at a convention in May due to filming commitments. He will join fan favourite R2D2 in the new film.

Disney CEO Bob Iger has also confirmed that shooting had already begun on the much-anticipated film.

He told the Hollywood Reporter: "We're actually shooting some of it now. We're up against it."

The film is scheduled release in December 2015.