As J.J. Abrams and company get underway shooting Star Wars: Episode VII, they’re still adding pieces to the cast. One of those pieces could be you.
In a very unusual move for the highly secretive film, a walk-on role for a member of the general public has been created and will be raffled off to benefit the charity UNICEF.
The filmmaker explains himself in a video from Abu Dhabi, where Episode VII is currently shooting, below — which also offers a glimpse of one of the practical (that is, not digitally created) alien creatures from that far-off galaxy.
“We want to put you in the movie, in Star Wars,” Abrams explains. “You get to come to London, where we’re shooting the movie mostly at Pinewood Studios…You’ll get to meet the cast, go behind the scenes, and see the whole moviemaking process. But more than that, we’ll put you in hair, makeup and wardrobe, and you’ll actually get to be in the movie.”
To enter, visit the Star Wars: Force For Change initiative.
The auction will raise money to support UNICEF’s Innovation Labs, which aims to create technological fixes for children in remote or troubled regions. (Some of their work involves creating portable, solar-powered education kits in places like China, Uganda, and Burundi, mobile phone programs in the Philippines aimed at reuniting children with their families after an emergency, and delivering infant medical information from clinics in Zambia.)
The walk-on roll won’t be a budget-buster, available for auction only to the highest bidder: You could land the part for as little as 10 bucks. For each $10 contribution, donors will be automatically entered — and the contest runs from now until midnight on July 18th.
There are other prizes, too. Similar to Kickstarter giveaways, Lucasfilm and Disney are offering assorted gifts at various levels for those who contribute more.
A gift of $10,000 lands a signed copy of the script (again, only after the film debuts Dec. 18, 2015), but five lucky (and wealthy) people won’t have to wait that long. Those who donate $50,000 have a shot at scheduling early screenings for themselves.
There’s a caveat to the casting detail … The Force For Change website warns: “DISCLOSURE: IN ANY MOVIE, NOT EVERY SCENE FILMED IS 100% GUARANTEED TO MAKE THE FINAL CUT. BUT THE STAR WARS TEAM IS TAKING EVERY MEASURE POSSIBLE TO ENSURE THAT YOUR SCENE MAKES IT INTO THE MOVIE!”
Abrams has occasionally offered similar small roles to special guests, but they are usually invitation only. When he heard about professor’s Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture presentation, detailing his efforts to enjoy every moment of life while dealing with terminal cancer, he invited Pausch for a literal walk-on role in the Star Trek reboot. Pausch didn’t live to see the movie released, but he did get a line: “Captain, we have visual …”
There doesn’t seem to be much chance of this, but if you could choose the type of role you wanted in Episode VII, what would it be? Mine: Ghost Greedo.