As we get closer and closer to the rumored production start date on Star Wars: Episode VII, casting meetings and casting calls seem to be on the front lines of Star Wars rumor central. After all, fans are hungry to find out who will be starring in the new sequel trilogy. A recent casting call in the U.K. suggests the possible appearance of Wookiees, namely Chewbecca, in the new Star Wars film.
As reported on Den of Geek, a mysterious casting call for really tall men emerged from an “untitled studio feature” from Walt Disney Pictures/LucasFilm/Bad Robot. Gee, I wonder what movie they’re talking about? The specifications for actors seem to resemble those of a Wookiee: “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.
It’s important to point out that actor Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca during the entire Star Wars original trilogy, and in Revenge of the Sith, underwent knee surgery and has been mostly confined to a wheelchair (and kickass lightsaber cane) for the past two years. While it’s doubtful that Mayhew would return to Star Wars, the British actor is exactly 7’3″ in height. Could it just be a coincidence, or should we expect to see Chewbacca in Episode VII?
/Film’s Germain Lussier speculates that the body build described in the casting call also fits the specifications for a Gungan, which haven’t been prominently featured since The Phantom Menace in 1999. It seems very doubtful that, after being handed the keys to Star Wars, director J.J. Abrams would betray fans of the franchise by including the much-hated Gungans in Episode VII. But then again, who knows? [Maybe we’ll see them before their planet blows up. – The Hateful Editor]
As for the film, the Star Wars casting rumors are more rampant than usual, with actors Saoirse Ronan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael B. Jordan, and David Oyelowo added to the list of actors taking meetings with Disney and Lucasfilm. At the moment, it’s unclear if the actors mentioned above are being considered for hero or villain roles. Rachel Hurd-Wood and Alex Pettyfer are also rumored contenders for the cast of Episode VII, while Jonathan Rhys Meyers has flat-out denied any involvement in Star Wars altogether.
Meanwhile, director J.J. Abrams has said that he wants to take a realistic and authentic approach with the filmmaking when it comes to Episode VII. “As much of a fairy tale as it was, it felt real. And to me, that is exactly right,” said Abrams about the new Star Wars movie. The 47-year-old director also responded to LA Times staff writer Yvonne Villarreal about those Benedict Cumberbatch casting rumors. Of course, Abrams response was non-committal.
JJ Abrams on #StarWars: "We're working our asses off trying to get things in place w/ casting." Benedict Cumberbatch? "I love that guy."
— Yvonne Villarreal (@villarrealy) September 20, 2013
If Abrams refused to confirm Benedict Cumberbatch was playing Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, he’s certainly not going to reveal anything about Star Wars until it actually goes into production. Even then, we probably won’t know much more until it reaches theaters.
Star Wars: Episode VII will hit theaters everywhere sometime in 2015. What say you, is the above casting call for probable Wookiees or Gungans, or for something else entirely?