In 2005, “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” saw the introduction to the character General Grievous, a computer-generated character that wielded four lightsabers at a time who was voiced by Matthew Wood, who was also the supervising sound editor of the film. However, there was some gossip and news that actor Gary Oldman had been approached to provide the voice of the character.
The rumor was that complications arose during contract negotiations after Oldman learned the film was to be made outside of the Screen Actors Guild, of which he is a member so he backed out of the role rather than violate the union’s rules. However, Wood himself disputed this story at Celebration III that is held in Indianapolis. He says that Oldman is a friend of Rick McCallum who was the producer of the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy and that Oldman, as a favor to McCallum, recorded an audition but was not chosen. Wood, who ultimately got the part, was in charge of the auditions and submitted his audition anonymously in the midst of 30 others, under the initials “A.S.” for Alan Smithee. Alan Smithee is actually an official pseudonym used by film directors who wish to disown a project, coined in 1968. Anyway, days later he received a phone call asking for the full name to the initials “A.S.” and Wood got the part. On a side note, there was an internet hoax going around that said actor John Rhys-Davies was considered for the role as well.
Sometimes the little guy just gets the part. Wood, not even an actor but a sound engineer, got the part for a rather significant character in what was, at the time, the final “Star Wars” film in the official movie saga to come out. I think that deserves all the applause in the world.