Exclusive: new Star Wars UK casting call

News Cameron K McEwan 23 Sep 2013 - 07:02
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A new UK casting call for Star Wars suggests that Star Wars: Episode VII needs a Wookie...

Nuggets of info are coming in thick and fast from around the world on the next Star Wars film, the JJ Abrams directed Episode VII, but an interesting bit of casting news has dropped on our very own doorstep here in the UK. We have this from a solid source.

As previously announced this year, the latest instalment of the George Lucas space opera will film in the UK once more and some casting news has come to light from the casting and auction service, Spotlight.

A call has been put out by "Walt Disney Pictures/LucasFilm/Bad Robot" for a:
"Male, 7 ft to 7.3 ft tall with a slim/thin build and upright posture. Not too worked out or too 'thick set' especially in the shoulders. Broad facial features would be a bonus". 

The casting call is for an "UNTITLED STUDIO FEATURE", but it's not too tricky to join the dots.

Now, we wouldn't want to speculate, but fact fans will note that original Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew, who starred in all three original Star Wars films and the final prequel Revenge Of The Sith, is 7'3" (almost 2.25 metres). And the description of the desired physique is exactly that of Mayhew's. Coincidence? Could JJ be searching for a Wookie for the new trilogy? Or could it be something else entirely?

Time, of course, will tell, but those details do seem very revealing. Also of note in the casting call is the production date, stating the start date is "early 2014" whilst the producers are credited as "Kathleen Kennedy, JJ Abrams, Bryan Burk, Tommy Harper (Exec)."

We look forward to more Star Wars casting news in the UK as filming looms closer.

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If this is correct then it's a shame that Peter Mayhew won't be reprising the role of Chewbacca, but understandable I guess as I did read recently that he's been in a wheelchair for the last couple of years.

It worries me more about Anthony Daniels, no-one could be C-3PO but him, it just wouldn't be right. The original cast aren't getting any younger and that's ok for Luke/Han/Leia but a droid doesn't age, it's got to be a big ask having him in that suit for god knows how many hours a day.

I saw Daniels at the Star Wars Concert last year. He's still in good shape for his age. 6 more years playing "Golden Rod" shouldn't be a problem.

Wouldn't worry about Daniels, if he doesn't want to wear the suit he has the luxury of allowing someone else to suffer inside it whilst he continues to voice C-3P0.

[pedant mode]
I think you mean Wookiee.
[/pedant mode]

He's very particular about Threepio and was even disappointed when he didn't puppeteer the Threepio puppet in Phantom Menace. I think he'd be very reluctant to let anyone else inside the suit. He gives the character a very particular type of movement.

Peter Mayhew's just been through a double knee replacement - not surprising for a man of his height and age - and I think he's determined to play Chewie again. I'd be disappointed if he didn't come back as Chewie. But, as the article states, this could be for any new character as well, wookiee or not.

maybe its for Chewie's wife, Malla

I hope Kenny Baker and Mayhew will have a cameo !

Though I understand what you're saying, I'm not sure Anthony Daniels has any say at all in whether or not someone else goes inside the suit. At the end of the day he IS just an actor, he doesn't own the character.
I agree though that it would be weird having someone else play the character.

Ex-Game of Thrones "Gregor Clegane" Ian Whyte fits the bill. 7ft 1 and slim for his height. He's been replaced by the much larger built Hafthor Julius Bjornsson for series 4.

I'm 1ft too short.

Well, I hope Mayhew actually gets to play Chewbacca again. Perhaps, since they are filming near London, Kenny Baker might be able to make a cameo but I don't think he'll ever be in the R2D2 suit ever again due to his age. In fact, I don't think he was actually in Revenge of the Sith - I think his credit on that was a courtesy.

NO. Peter Mayhew! I'm going to live in denial that this is happening so hopefully this is either false or some other wookie or something.

I think you are correct yes. If they dont go full CGI, I wouldnt be surprised to see Deep Roy be R2 since he has done it before and works with JJ

Perhaps it would be for a younger recurring Wookie, as Peter Mayhew is almost 70 years old and walks with a cane. He could still appear as Chewbacca, who would probably start to feel the effects of old age even if Wookies live longer than humans.

Interesting idea but I think Deep Roy's too big to go in the suit. Kenny Baker's 3' 8" while Deep Roy's 4' 4". I think Kenny Baker was hired in the first place because he was small enough to go in the suit. Hope they pull back on the CG R2 (but some circumstances may call for it) and do put someone in there for the less mechanised wobbling he does.

yes he's bigger but he was in R2 for some scenes of the Original Trilogy, so he must fit in it somehow

Never knew that. However, we don't know how JJ's going to get R2 on the screen, aside from presuming they'll still use the remote control robot. Who knows.

Would they be bothered about facial features if the actor was in a mask?

He's like a "permanent resident" to the Star Wars cast!

Might be for one of the stand alone movies. Probably be a fun story showing how young Han Solo and Chewbacca met or got the Falcon.

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