English-born actor Peter Mayhew — standing a towering 7'3" — was working as a hospital orderly while simultaneously filming a part in one of the greatest movies ever made: Star Wars. The actor was featured in a news article about men with large feet, producers cast him in an early Ray Harryhausen film, Lucas eventually took notice while casting his space epic, and a beloved character was born. Mayhew is the focus of Chewie, a Black List screenplay that Fanboys director Kyle Newman is now attached to, though in what form (director? producer?) is still uncertain.
The film is being described as a "satirical behind-the-scenes look at the making of Star Wars through the eyes of Peter Mayhew." Collider shared a detailed excerpt from Mayhew's evolution as Chewie in the 1977 movie:
"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."
Chewie sounds like a fun project, and we hope the team can get a little help from LucasFilm to polish it to a shine. So much has been written about Star Wars, it'd be refreshing to see the classic from such a unique perspective. Chime in with your thoughts about Chewie below.