If Star Wars fans have learned anything from their favorite saga, it’s that you should always let the Wookiee win. In fact, ever since Chewbacca first appeared in 1977’s original Star Wars film, the seven-foot tall "walking carpet" (Leia’s words, not ours) quickly established himself as a fan favorite. After appearing in the original classic trilogy, the character’s original portrayer, Peter Mayhew, was then brought back for 2005’s Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith.
Now, longtime Chewbacca fans have something new to look forward to in the form of a film called Chewie, according to a Twitter update from Mayhew himself.
Here’s what he had to say:
"Yes, we’re working with Kyle Newman and the team on CHEWIE, The Movie and are hopeful it can move forward. Rumors can begin now, Forcecast!"
Director Kyle Newman - whom Star Wars fans may remember helmed 2009’s Fanboys - is developing Chewie from a screenplay off of Hollywood’s Black List of the best unproduced scripts. Set during the making of the original Star Wars film, the story (written by Evan Susser and Van Robichaux) follows Mayhew as a hospital worker moonlighting as an actor on George Lucas’ epic, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A few months back, we reported that Susser and Robichaux were attached to the film (as well as a live-action adaptation of The Jetsons), but Mayhew’s tweet seems to indicate that Chewie is finally gearing up for pre-production. Mayhew has portrayed the iconic Wookiee as recently as last year - on a Christmas episode of Glee, no less - but with the film set more than 30 years in the past, it’s unlikely that the 68-year-old actor would appear as himself in the new production. More likely, he’d be credited as a producer, and another actor would be cast in his place (though he would obviously have big shoes to fill).
It’s unclear exactly how Newman plans to approach the film, but given his prior involvement in the Star Wars universe - through the aforementioned Fanboys - he is ideally positioned to lead the project. Newman even went so far as to secure Mayhew’s life rights so that he could develop the film himself. Under his supervision, Chewie will likely play as part-biopic, part loving tribute to Mayhew’s career and one of the most enduring characters in Star Wars.
Since the big screen Star Wars saga wrapped up in 2005, a number of ancillary projects have turned to beloved supporting characters to keep the franchise afloat. For instance, Episode I baddie Darth Maul has become a central figure on Cartoon Network’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, and rumors have circulated that bounty hunter Boba Fett may get his own film at some point. Plus, fans are still waiting for that much-talked-about live-action series, said to focus on secondary characters and take place between Episode III and IV.
In the meantime, though, it’s nice to know that fans can now look forward to Chewie’s chance in the spotlight.
Does Chewie sound like a good idea for a film to you, Screen Rant readers? Let us know in the comments.