Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer to be released this week

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A teaser trailer for the new Star Wars movie will be released on Friday, according to the director of the upcoming seventh film in the iconic franchise.

"A tiny peek at what we're working on - this Friday, in select theatres," tweeted filmmaker J.J. Abrams, adding that the trailer will be 88 seconds long.

"Hope you enjoy, and have a most excellent Thanksgiving," he said, referring to the US national holiday this Thursday.

Earlier this month studio giant Disney revealed the name of the new film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, saying filming had been completed on the movie, due for release on Dec 18, 2015.

Star Wars has attracted generations of loyal fans ever since the first film arrived in 1977 recounting the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Darth Vader.

Filming began in Britain in May on Episode VII.

Original cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker will star in the new film, along with several newcomers including Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o.

Other cast members include veteran actor Max von Sydow, Girls star Adam Driver, motion-capture expert Andy Serkis and Harry Potter veteran Domhnall Gleeson.