The actor, who played the Wookiee in the original trilogy, will reprise his role in Disney and Lucasfilm’s sequel.
The trio of new leads for Star Wars: Episode VII has yet to be revealed, but an actor from the original franchise is returning to reprise his role.
Peter Mayhew will play Chewbacca for Disney and Lucasfilm’s upcoming sequel, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.Mayhew played the legendary Wookiee and Han Solo’s co-pilot in the original trilogy, beginning with Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope in 1977. Rumors recently surfaced that he was reprising his role after he canceled an upcoming appearance at Texas convention Comicpalooza “due to filming.” Since the convention takes place May 23-26, many fans wondered if that meant the actor would be busy with Episode VII.
Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn revealed on April 2 that the new Star Wars had already begun filming and most of the cast was set. “We have a lot of them [in place],” he said about the main actors, whose names have not been disclosed. “We’re just not completely done yet.”
Star Wars: Episode VII, to be directed by J.J. Abrams and slated to hit theaters Dec. 18, 2015, has been shrouded in a thick veil of secrecy, with dozens of names flying through the rumor mill for months now. THR reported that Adam Driver will be playing an undisclosed villain. Original stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher also are said to be reprising their roles.
In March, Walt Disney CEO Bob Igersaid the new project would begin filming in May and will be set 30 years after the events in 1983’s Return of the Jedi. “There will be some very familiar faces along with a trio of new young leads,” he said during Disney’s annual shareholder’s meeting in Portland, Ore.
Mayhew, who also played Chewbacca in prequel film Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, has mainly spent his career playing the iconic character, but also appeared in the horror film Terror and did voice work in the British version of Dragon Ball GT: A Hero’s Legacy.
True stop motion filming has been seen less and less in today’s feature films. Typically, 3D animation has moved in to replace this dwindling market. Still, there are some studios who keep the tradition going and have reinvented themselves to make use of emerging modern technologies. Laika, a stop motion studio based out of Portland, Oregon and responsible for films such as “Coraline” and the upcoming “ParaNorman”, has found an exceptional use for 3D printers in their film production.
They have tasked these printers to produce “replacement faces” that can be switched on their character models to show different expressions. A brilliant idea, as the faces can be designed through software tools and then printed ready to go with just a few minor touch-ups. This efficiency boost has allowed them to create over 1.5 million individual expression possibilities for just their main protagonist. Seem like a large number? It sure is. Jack Skellington in “The Nightmare Before Christmas” had barely over 800 expressions. “Coraline,” which was released in 2009, made some use of 3D printing and managed an inventory of 200,000 faces for its main character. Seeing the application of such a modern, fascinating technology used to bolster this type of filmmaking is remarkable. You’re going to want to Read More.