Tracking Star Wars casting rumors has become a full-time job. Saoirse Ronan just confirmed to Sky News that she auditioned for a role. The original cast continues to be coy with regard to their possible involvement in Episode VII. And then there’s Jonny Mathers, who believes he was born to play Chewbacca.
Or, at least, that’s what the British Star Wars fan realized as he answered a casting call for an unspecified Walt Disney/LucasFilm/Bad Robot production that has to be Star Wars: Episode VII. BBC News has the story and interview with Mathers, who – oh, have we mentioned yet – is 7-foot, 3-inches tall and therefore believes that he’s equipped to play Chewbacca … if that’s who J.J. Abrams and the producers on the next Star Wars movie want some actor to play.
"There can't be that many roles for blokes my height and I'd love to be in it, no matter what capacity,” Mathers told the BBC. "It’d be my dream come true to be part of the latest instalment. I've been in contact with Spotlight [a website for professional acting jobs and auditions] and I'm taking things from there. I can't say any more right now but this would be a great opportunity for me.”
No kidding. So Mathers answered an open casting call that the BBC says was looking 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.” We’re all jumping to the Chewbacca conclusion because Peter Mayhew, who played Han Solo’s co-pilot in the original Star Wars trilogy, happened to be the same height as Mathers. I love this behind-the-scenes clip for A New Hope that has Mayhew speaking Chewbacca’s lines in British, which we know will be replaced by the hero’s signature roar in post-production:
But we might be falling into a trap by making slightly misguided assumption. The Star Wars universe is vast, and just because a character in Abrams’ new movie might be tall doesn’t mean it HAS to be Chewbacca. Then again, the rumor mill continues to spit out theories that Harrison Ford will return to his classic role of Han Solo, and so it would make sense for Chewy to be part of the next trilogy. In fact, Mayhew talks about exactly that in this interview with Flicks and the City. Fast forward to the one-minute mark:
We’ll hopefully find out what Abrams has planned for episodes 8, 9 and 10 … eventually. Right? I mean, details have to surface soon if Abrams actually wants to get a sequel in theaters by 2015, as planned. Stay tuned.