Lucasfilm to confront a Tower of Babel

Lucasfilm’s decision to open Star Wars Episode II – Attack of the Clones in international markets during the same month that it debuts in the U.S. has placed a heavy burden on the company to quickly find overseas actors who can dub the film in foreign languages immediately after the final version is completed, producer Rick McCallum has told the Star Wars online newsletter “Homing Beacon.”

“It means we have to audition and cast 60 to 80 actors to do the parts in each country, and we’re in 30 different countries…We listen to them and approve them, but that can take a long time because there are maybe four to five actors for each part in each country. It takes a good day to really analyze everybody for one country — if you have 30 countries, that’s a month, and the only way you can do it.”

McCallum added that he expected the process to be “intense, complicated and time-consuming,” but did not explain how Lucasfilm’s producers, who presumably are not linguists, can audition the voice actors. Nevertheless, he said, the effort can be “awfully fun if we can pull it off.”