Return of Chewbacca? Star War: Episode VII Casting Call for Wookies

A casting call for seven-foot actors from the studios behind the new Star Wars films has fueled speculation that wookiees could be making a return to the long-running space saga.

Disney, Lucasfilm and production company Bad Robot, owned by director JJ Abrams, issued the call via a British casting and auction service, Spotlight. Star War: Episode VII is being filmed in London early next year for a 2015 release date. The call, for a movie cited only as "untitled studio feature" is for a "male 7 ft to 7.3 ft tall with a slim/thin build and upright posture. Not too worked out or too 'thick set' especially in the shoulders. Broad facial features would be a bonus." The wookie-like requirements were first picked up by Den of Geek. Peter Mayhew, who played Han Solo's wookiee sidekick Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy, stood at an impressive 7 ft 2" and also had what might be described as broad facial features. The wookiees were notably revived for 2005 prequel Return of the Sith, in which an entire army of the furry fuzzballs was seen defending its home planet of Kashyyyk. Meanwhile, JJ Abrams has further hinted that he will eschew the CGI-heavy approach of Star Wars creator George Lucas in the prequel films when he shoots Episode VII. LucasFilm's new president, Kathleen Kennedy, said in June that the new trilogy of films would use "real locations with special effects" akin to the original trilogy that ran between 1977 and 1983. Now Abrams has told Entertainment Weekly his film will be "as emotional and authentic and exciting as possible".