Maul made a surprise return to the world of live-action films with Solo: A Star Wars Story, played by Ray Park and voiced by Sam Witwer. This marked the first time Witwer portrayed the character for a film despite having voiced the character for years in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Witwer recently detailed the collaborative process of bringing such an iconic character to life in a new way.
"Ray and I have known each other for a while. In fact, we've been bumping into each other for years, not just at Cons but at restaurants and airports, constantly just, 'Oh, hey, Ray.' It's very, very funny," Witwer recalled to ComicBook.com. "We started talking. Ray had already seen all the animated stuff, but he wanted to know, he's like, 'What do you feel are the key points that I should check out again?' He wanted to just really get on the same page with that stuff. I wanted to get on the same page. We talked, we collaborated."
As far as the process of two performers both contributing to creating one character, each performer worked off of the other one to seamlessly blend their performances.
"I recorded my dialogue, then Ray shot it lip-syncing the dialogue, and then I recorded again to accommodate what Ray did that was, say, different than what I did because, frankly, I think that [director] Ron Howard and them were absolutely right," the actor detailed. "The way to bring this character to life on the screen is to have both me and Ray have our input and our ability just to have our chance to do what we think should be done."
Park played the character in his debut in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, with Peter Serafinowicz voicing the Sith. Despite Witwer becoming the prominent performer of the character in recent years, the actor expressed how big an influence Park has had on the character over the last two decades.
"I will tell you, I was so pleased when I saw what Ray did because it was like, 'Oh, he's incorporating the hell out of what we've done in the last eight years with Darth Maul,' because the Phantom Menace Maul, very stoic. He is the disciple. He is the student. He is a soldier for the Dark Side," Witwer recalled. "Now years hence, he's not quite that guy anymore. He's got a little bit of a sense of humor. He's in charge. He's got charisma, a different kind of charisma than he had in, say, Phantom Menace. It was so wonderful to see Ray do in live action what I had been seeing the animators do with Maul for years. That was a thrill to see Ray really incorporate that."
Solo: A Star Wars Story is currently available instantly in HD and 4K Ultra HD and on Movies Anywhere and on Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and On-Demand on September 25th.
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