Darth Maul has a pretty interesting history in terms of who plays him. Like Darth Vader before him, there was a separation between his physical presence and his vocal presence. Ray Park provided that physical presence we all were so familiar with in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and his various grunts and few lines of dialogue were provided by the great Peter Serafinowicz. Since The Phantom Menace, things were changed up a bit, with Sam Witwer going on to voice the character in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and various other iterations of the character in video games and such. But, for the film, it would make sense to go back to the original voice actor, right? As it turns out, that was the original plan, as Serafinowicz revealed to Collider.
“I went in and did it,” Serafinowicz said on their Collider Live podcast. “I was on the set and I spoke to Ron Howard for about half an hour about the character and what he’d become — which was 29 minutes longer than I spoke to George Lucas about the character 20 years ago. (imitating George Lucas’ voice) ‘Just make him sound evil.’ That was it.”
The actor went on to reveal that he wasn’t invited to the film’s premiere and it was later revealed to him that he his voice was cut from the film altogether:
“I got this email saying, ‘We’re sorry we actually changed the voice actor to the guy who plays him in the…Sam Witwer.’ Which is kinda fair enough. They said it was better for the continuity of the thing. But it was a bit disappointing (laughs).”
Ultimately, that is a bit disappointing, but given how much more Witwer has spoken as the character, it’s likely for the best — especially if they expect to utilize him down the line in different series or movies.
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