How appropriate to have the man who made a film all about people who love Star Wars direct the film about one of it’s most memorable cast members. The film is called Chewie and it is considered to be one of the best screenplays that was written last year but not produced. It is being described as a:
“satirical behind the scenes look at the making of Star Wars through the eyes of Peter Mayhew,” the 7’3″ actor who maintained his job as a hospital worker while he played Chewbacca.
There’s no word on how long it will take to get the movie made or when it will come out, but Newman is known to be pretty damned tenacious when he wants to be. There was a while when most people thought that Fanboys was never going to actually make it to theaters, but he mad it happen. Now it just looks like they need a thumbs up and some approval from the folks over at Lucas Film and they will be all set.
Here is the story of how he was cast in Star Wars:
Peter Mayhew, an English hospital worker who inadvertently found himself catapulted into films, was the towering gentle giant responsible for bringing Chewbacca to life. Mayhew, who stands 7’3″, was born in Barnes, England. The son of a policeman, he spent a short time in the field of engineering before discovering that he felt more fulfilled by hospital service. In the mid-1970s, he was working as a hospital orderly at London’s King’s College Hospital when he was featured in a newspaper article about men with large feet. By chance, his photograph was noticed by the producers of Ray Harryhausen’s Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977), starring Patrick Wayne and Jane Seymour. Sinbad’s producers subsequently cast Mayhew in the role of the Minotaur
When writer/director George Lucas began searching for a tall actor who could accurately portray Chewbacca, he initially turned to David Prowse. The bodybuilder opted for the part of the sinister Darth Vader, leaving Lucas free to seek out Mayhew for the role of the Wookiee.
The decision to cast Mayhew as Chewbacca proved wise. The giant actor threw himself into the role with great determination. Shortly before filming began on Star Wars, Mayhew visited a zoo where he studied the movement of bears, monkeys, gorillas and other animals with traits reminiscent of a Wookiee. Once inside the costume, Mayhew created one of the trilogy’s most memorable and popular characters. Although Chewie’s vocalizations were later dubbed into the film in post-production, to cue his fellow actors Mayhew simulated the character’s dialogue from within the mask. On set, he was known to growl, grunt and shriek.