We know that Lucasfilm and director J. J. Abrams is working on the casting for Star Wars: Episode VII as quietly as they can possibly be. Of course, people are still going to see and hear things and those things will quickly get repeated. For example, one thing that was repeated to Bleeding Cool, who promptly repeated it this morning, was the following casting notice they claim is making the rounds –
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.
Anyone with even a passing knowledge of Star Wars can probably conclude that they are probably casting about for an actor to play one of the great hairy alien Wookies, the race that popular original trilogy character Chewbacca belonged to.
And while it is perfectly reasonable to think that they may be casting for a new Wookie character, recall that we saw some in Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith, some folks seem to think that Lucasfilm is looking to replace original Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew. And given that Mayhew has been having some health issues of late, I suppose that is understandable.
Mayhew, however, isn’t ready to discount himself out of the running for the role that made him famous. Speaking through W. Ryan Ziegler, director of the upcoming documentary Standing In The Stars: The Peter Mayhew Story which will chart some of the actor’s health problems, Mayhew stated to Bleeding Cool simply –
I intend to pursue the role of Chewbacca for Episode VII.
I guess we can read into that statement that, at least Mayhew’s mind, Chewbacca is set to be among the returning characters for the new trilogy. Does he know something that hasn’t been officially announced yet or is Mayhew making the same assumption that others are? We’ll see.