Wookiee Here! Fanboys Director Kyle Newman Developing Chewie: Star Wars As Seen Through the Eyes of Peter Mayhew
Finally, a Wookiee-centric Star Wars vehicle that could get some actual laughs. Anyone who's actually sat through The Star Wars Holiday Special should welcome a report by The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog that Fanboys director Kyle Newman is developing Chewie, a spec script by Evan Susser and Van Robichaux that is reportedly a tongue-in-cheek look at the making of Star Wars through the eyes of Peter Mayhew, the seven-foot-three-inch hospital worker who donned a fur suit and became one of the most memorable sci-fi/fantasy sidekicks of all time.
In December, Deadline reported that Chewie was near the top of film executive Franklin Leonard's 2011 Black List of hot unproduced screenplays. The script follows Mayhew as he tries to balance a career as a hospital worker while chasing his Hollywood dreams.
Mayhew recently tweeted that he's working with Newman on Chewie and Heat Vision reports that the Fanboys filmmaker acquired the gentle giant's life rights to advance the project.
Newman's involvement bodes well for the project given that Star Wars creator George Lucas put his stamp of approval on Fanboys, which enabled the director to use the official sound effects. Let's hope Lucas gives Chewie the thumbs up, too, since, a movie about Chewbacca that would not be permitted to use his official yowl — an amalgamation of bear growls "with a dash of walrus, dog, and lion thrown in," according to Star Wars sound designer Ben Burtt — would be sad indeed.
A scene or two involving Mayhew's involvement in the much-ridiculed Star Wars Holiday Special, which centered around the Wookiee Christmas equivalent, Life Day, would be an added bonus, but, if Lucas does become involved, we won't be surprised if the subject is avoided. Lucas once deemed the 1978 CBS Television special a "travesty.
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