Before those of you who are not fans of the director’s previous films and particular shooting style start to hyperventilate that Zack Snyder is not directing Star Wars: Episode VII, it looks like there’s more news on that front. The man who helmed the remake of the horror classic Dawn of the Dead and the comic book adaptations 300 and Watchmen as well as the forthcoming Man of Steel might be taking a trip to a galaxy far, far away soon after his Superman reboot hits theaters this June. He will just taking a slightly different path.
According to Claude Brodesser-Akner at Vulture, Snyder is at work on a Star Wars project over at Lucasfilm that will be “set within the seriesâ€™ galaxy, though parallel to the next trilogy.” The still-untitled film will be a Jedi-heavy adventure and be loosely based on The Seven Samurai, the classic 1954 Japanese epic directed by Akira Kurosawa, the celebrated filmmaker whose movie The Hidden Fortress has been acknowledged by George Lucas as a huge influence on the original Star Wars.
Sources for the Vulture article say Snyder’s standalone Star Wars film could begin production after Disney finally gets the cameras rolling on Episode VII, fulfilling company CEO Robert Iger‘s intentions “to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years.â€ No one at Lucasfilm would comment on these developments, but it seems Disney’s acquisition of the house that Vader built has lit a creative fire under the franchise’s rear end. On top of the aforementioned film project, plans are afoot to finally bring the long-in-development Star Wars: Underworld series to television, possibly on the Disney-owned ABC with scripts by Ronald D. Moore, best known for his work on the various Star Trek shows and the rebooted Battlestar Galactica.
I’m a sucker for a good story of the Jedi and the thought of seeing them get their own grand scale cinematic adventure, especially since they were given such short shrift in the prequel trilogy, definitely has my interest. Snyder has always been a visually dynamic director whose creative instincts can often get the better of him, but if the trailers for Man of Steel are any indication, his filmmaking style has evolved beyond the needless slow-motion and “speed ramping” that was annoyingly prevalent in several of his earlier features. Given the chance he could really leave his mark on the Star Wars universe if the script is great and the movie is cast perfectly.
Bookstore shelves are constantly being crushed under the weight of countless Star Wars novels, so isn’t it high time DVD and Blu-ray shelves do the same?
UPDATE: It appears this story might have been little more than the product of wishful thinking and rampant rumor mongering. According to EW, a rep for Zack Snyder stated that the director will not be making a new Star Wars movie: “While he is super flattered because he is a huge fan Zack is not involved in any way with Star Wars. He is currently in post [production] on his two films, Man of Steel and 300: Battle of Artemisia.”
This doesn’t completely eliminate the possibility of a Snyder-directed entry in Lucas’ sprawling space saga in the future, but for now, according to those who would know, it ain’t happening.
UPDATE #2: Vulture has responded to the denial from Snyder’s rep, and the site is sticking by their story. Here’s their statement:
Vulture stands by its story. This reporter heard through a source very familiar with the situation that Snyder recently flew up to Marin County to meet with Lucasfilm execs about the project. When subsequently reached by Vulture, Snyder’s spokesperson would only repeat that he “is” not currently involved. One should note the possible political ramifications here of our original story break: Snyder’s last Warner Bros. film, Sucker Punch, lost millions for the studio, and execs there could have become distressed at the idea of him getting involved with another studio’s franchise when they have so much at stake with their upcoming Man of Steel and want him available for an immediate sequel.