Earlier today, Bleeding Cool reported that a new casting call has gone out to agencies representing actors with very unique physiques that hints that they may be casting for Chewbacca (or another wookiee) for Episode VII.
Tall Man (Male, 21 – 60) 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.
We agree with Bleeding Cool contributor Brendon Connelly that this particular casting call does sound a lot like the “The Mighty Chewbacca,” however, we don’t believe that this is a clear indication that Peter Mayhew will not be in the film.
If you follow Mayhew on Twitter of Facebook, you’d have seen that just last week Mayhew underwent one of many intensive surgeries to repair damage to his knees. Peter’s fans also raised money by contributing to a kickstarter project that will see his entire journey through his recovery filmed for a documentary, and frankly, we hope it concludes with his casting in Episode VII. Peter’s doctors fully believe that the famous Wookiee actor should be able to walk after a month of physical therapy. With the shooting of Episode VII to begin as early as Janurary and as late March, we see little reason he could not be the main actor playing Chewbacca for much of the film.
As for the casting call, it does not seem out of the realm that the part could be for someone to play an “active” Chewbacca while Peter Mayhew plays his iconic character in stationary shots and close ups. Much in the same way that veteran swordsman Christopher Lee had a double for some of his action scenes in Episodes II and III, and how motion capture technology may help 67 year old Anthony Daniels fulfill the role of See-Threepio in the new films, Star Wars is not new to aiding its stars in that way. We in no way advocate for Chewbacca to be recast, motion capture or CGI, but it is unlikely that Peter Mayhew will be up to doing any running or fighting scenes during the filming of Episodes VII-IX.
It should be noted that a rumor was floating around in early 2004 from the December issue of now out of print British film magazine Hotdog, which stated that not only would Peter Mayhew be back for Revenge of the Sith, but that his contract for that film also included his casting in Episodes VII-IX. Take that with a grain of salt, since we now know that Mayhew is personally pursuing a part in Episode VII, and furthermore that no other cast members had such a stipulation in their contracts at the time.
We’re big fans of Peter’s. We’re incredibly pleased that his doctors have been able to do such great work on him, and look forward to his full recovery and involvement in Star Wars Episode VII: A New Dawn. Just kidding about that last part.