WATCH: Filming of Star Wars: Episode VIII to start 'within weeks' - John Boyega

Filming on Star Wars: Episode VIII will start within weeks in London, The Force Awakens actor John Boyega told fans as he surprised them after a screening of the latest film in the capital.

Peckham-born Boyega, 23, who plays ex-stormtrooper Finn alongside fellow Briton Daisy Ridley in the long-awaited film, told the audience at Brixton's Ritzy cinema he was "so happy" to start work on the next instalment.

John Boyega, who plays Finn in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens.

John Boyega, who plays Finn in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is poised to smash box office records in the UK, having already set a record for a first weekend in North America.

Boyega appeared at several London cinema screenings of the film on Sunday night, including the Ritzy and the Odeon in Greenwich.

Appearing as the end credits started at the Ritzy, he told the packed audience: "It's an alright film, innit?"

He added: "I have been doing some pop-ups at several different cinemas all over London and I definitely had to come to Brixton since I'm from down the road in Peckham.

"So I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone for coming out and supporting this movie. The movie is yours now and I really hope you enjoyed it and we are so happy to be starting on Episode Eight in a few weeks in London and it is going to be fun. May the force be with you always."

Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought in 238 million US dollars (£159 million) over the weekend in North America, easily surpassing the previous opening record set by Jurassic World, which drew 208.8 million US dollars (£140.1 million) this summer.

Disney has announced Star Wars: Episode VIII is due to hit cinema screens on May 26 2017.

Rian Johnson, known for time-travel film Looper, has been confirmed as the writer and director.