Jan 14, 2013

UPDATED! NEVERMIND! Don't Hold Your Breath For Zack Snyder's SEVEN JEDI

UPDATED: According to EW, the below is all poppycock and fantasy, which is a real shame.  Still, I feel as if the reactions yesterday were largely positive so I wouldn't be surprised if someone at Disney really is considering a similar approach right now, if they weren't already.

While speculation continues to run wild as to who will end up directing Star Wars: Episode VII, it's been easy to overlook the rest of Disney's grand scheme for expanding Lucas's galaxy far, far away.  ABC vaguely talked about reviving the long-planned live action Star Wars TV show about underworld bounty hunters at last week's TCAs, but there had also been some loose talk about further expanding the cinematic franchise with films set in the Star Wars universe but not directly related to the central trilogies focused on the Skywalker clan.  Now Vulture is reporting that the first such endeavor is starting to take shape, with Man Of Steel director Zack Snyder developing a film based generally on the plot of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai.

Obviously this is a concept that has been successfully executed in the past as both a western (The Magnificent Seven) and an animated family film (A Bug's Life) and it seems like a smart approach for Disney's first effort to really broaden the franchise's horizons.  Kurosawa was a tremendous influence on Lucas when he was making A New Hope, drawing influences from The Hidden Fortress and even initially offering the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi to Toshiro Mifune.  You can draw a straight line from the samurai to the Jedi order (meaning the thing practically markets itself) and I assume that in this incarnation the Jedi will probably be defending a whole planet like Tatooine, as opposed to a small village of farmers.  More space stuff!

This news excites me simply because I think bringing on talented filmmakers to play outside the margins is far more interesting and presents more creative opportunities than three more films about another generation of Skywalkers.  I assume Snyder wants to direct this thing himself, although it'll be curious to see how the timing works out with his continued involvement in the quickly expanding DC Universe.  People seem quick to say that his involvement with Star Wars precludes his directing of Warner's upcoming Justice League film, but that hardly seems like a forgone conclusion.  While Disney has fast tracked Episode VII, they can take their time with Snyder's film.  Moreover, DC essentially has first dibs on Snyder and I wouldn't be surprised if they've already got some contractual options on him for more super-powered films.

It's worth noting that there's widespread speculation/hope that Jon Favreau is in line to direct Episode VII.  If that comes to pass, it would mean that the expansion of the Star Wars universe would essentially be overseen by the early architects of both the Marvel and DC cinematic universes.

Just drink that in for minute.  Helluva world we're living in.

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