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Ray Park out of rumoured Darth Maul role on Disney+ must surely open the door for Sam Witwer?

July 28th, 2020 by Marc Comments

So, as news continues to spin around the web that Disney+ may be looking at a Solo series (here) and a Lando series (here) there is also movement on a Darth Maul series.

Which took, I’d imagine, a bit of a beating this weekend.

So, there was a rumour that Maul was set to be a link between several of Disney+’s shows including Cassian Andor and Obi-Wan (both make sense as the once Sith Lord would have been running around the galaxy at both periods) but, as well as the Lando and Han shows, the word was that Maul and Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra were set to get their own series too.

Now, it was likely a given that Ray Park would have returned as the red and black terror. However, over the weekend Park was involved in an unpleasant incident (I’m not going to get into it here, folks, but it was nasty) which fans immediately foresaw would render his future as Maul basically dead in the water.

And it seems that this is indeed the case as now word is that Lucasfilm is already planning on replacing him.

Now, obviously one of the core aspects of Maul – and, indeed, why Park was cast in The Phantom Menace – was his incredible fighting style and phyicality (check out this to see how they employed this for the final season of Clone Wars), but outside of that, in recent years he has also become a cunning strategist and manipulator and, as he will be older in the time of the Disney+ series, he may not be as strong, physically, as he once was.

If so, then perhaps that won’t be such a deal breaker for the role.

Enter Sam Witwer.

Witwer is an established actor, having appeared in Being Human, The Mist, The Walking Dead and more; he’s also a big part of the Star Wars community having played Starkiller in The Force  Unleashed games. He also has voiced – among others – Maul for the last decade in The Clone Wars andRebels. Oh, and Solo.

So, yes, he’s the perfect choice for the role now that Park is likely out of the running.

The star recently spoke about his casting in Solo: A Star Wars Story and how he fought for the role because, as a student of George Lucas and Dave Filoni, he feels he understands the character.

“When it came to Maul in Solo, and I was asked about it, I rang them up,” Witwer said.

“At many times, I’ve said it’s okay for you to go to someone else and that’s happened several times. But with Maul, I actually put my foot down and said ‘Listen. Do what you have to do, but I think you might be making a mistake if you don’t hire me for this’.

“Because you’re counting on the fans. A lot of fans are going to say I don’t get it, he died in Phantom Menace, and then a lot of other fans are gonna say, ‘Oh with The Clone Wars I get what’s happening here with the Shadow Collective. That’s what’s going on here with the Shadow Collective.’ So since you’re leaning on the fans who understand what the Shadow Collective is, and the way you want to construct the scene where you want to hear his voice and then see him, doesn’t that serve to reason that the fans have to recognize the voice? It’s probably got to be me, and not to mention I’ve been playing the guy for a decade.”

He also confirmed that original Maul voice actor Peter Serafinowicz HAD recorded some stuff for the movie, but it didn’t work out: “[Peter] Serafinowicz has even said that he recorded stuff for Maul and it didn’t quite work the way that they thought it would.”

Witwer goes on to explain it wasn’t Serafinowicz’s fault it wasn’t working out, but rather it was down to the script and the movie’s troubled production: “[There were] a lot of things in this script where he growls, he does this, he does that.”

Witwer outlined that he disagreed the the growling and other aspects of the original scene with Maul, and was clear with Lucasfilm that he believed he needed to be brought in for the role: “I don’t think those are right and I can tell you why I don’t think those are right. I can tell you what I think he should say instead. So I did run the math and said in this case I’m actually going to play a card I haven’t played with Lucasfilm before and say, ‘You’re making a mistake if you don’t go for me’.”

He goes on: “I was told, one of the producers on Solo was just not aware of The Clone Wars. There were people at Lucasfilm, several camps that were aware of The Clone Wars who said from the very beginning, ‘No! You have to get Sam’ [you] can make it work but you have to get this guy and you have to get Dave Filoni on board.”

And, in the end, it all made sense for Witwer to appear in the movie: “They were very happy to hear what I had to say about what he should be wearing, what chair he should be sitting in, what lightsaber he should have, why he laughs, all that stuff. They were absolutely open to it. When Ron Howard discovered that Clone Wars is George Lucas’ baby, he was very happy to have me come in and continue the George version of the Maul character.”

He goes on: “Ultimately, they did the right thing because they hired the people who were the experts on this like Dave Filoni and, I dare say, me, because I’m kind of an expert on what we’ve been doing with Maul for the past decade, y’know?

“They were so open that they did a reshoot… I don’t want to say that what Serafinowicz was doing was bad. It just didn’t sound recognizable as the character from The Phantom Menace nor the character from Clone Wars. It was a totally different thing. They needed people to recognize the voice, so there it is…”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Sam Witwer needs to stop being the voice of Maul and start being Maul in his entirety – robot legs and all.

Let me know your thoughts, folks.

Source: NabooNews and JediNews

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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….