Who Will Write and Direct Star Wars: Episode VII?
The studio has confirmed that it will release the next Star Wars film, Episode VII, in 2015. With nothing more than a treatment for the sequel (along with Episodes VIII and IX), many wonder who will write and direct the new films.
The more important question to ask, however, is who should write and direct these films?
Steven Spielberg is one of the biggest Star Wars fans in Hollywood. As a friend of Lucas and an artist that truly appreciates the medium, he fought to direct one of the three prequels. Lucas refused his request.
Now that Star Wars is in need of a new director, this is Spielberg's job to lose.
JJ Abrams would probably be willing to sacrifice his entire career for a shot at directing Star Wars: Episode VII. When he couldn't make that happen, he settled for Star Trek. Since his work on that film may prevent him from working on Star Wars (there are bound to be schedule conflicts, if not a fan outcry), Abrams is surely kicking himself right now for not waiting a little longer to make his dream come true.
He could still make it happen, of course. But it seems unlikely.
Christopher Nolan is one of the most respected directors in Hollywood. He is a superb writer (one only needs to see Inception for proof), he works well with special effects (the Batman trilogy used more real-world effects than CGI) and he knows how to pick a great cast.
But after working on one major franchise (which commanded his life for several years), it is unlikely that he would sign on to Star Wars.
M. Night Shyamalan
Imagine a Star Wars film where aliens invade a galaxy far, far away and Obi-Wan Kenobi can talk to dead people (hey, wait a minute…). That is the film that M. Night Shyamalan would direct.
Shyamalan was once the top director of live-action films at Disney. As the writer and director of The Sixth Sense (a film Disney wisely purchased), Shyamalan quickly built up a fan base of devoted moviegoers. But while he continued to add value to Disney's bottom line, he was reportedly turned off by the studio's reaction to the script for Lady in the Water. According to a book by reporter Michael Bamberger, that film ruined Shyamalan's relationship with Disney.
Without Lady in the Water, Shyamalan might still be directing new (perhaps high-quality) films for Disney. He may have also avoided directing The Last Airbender, which has severely tarnished his career.
Now the chances of him directing Star Wars are slim to none.
As the director of The Hunger Games, Gary Ross can proudly state that he is responsible for the third-biggest film of the year. But as a man who likes to direct on his own terms, he does not make very many films. And as a man who abandoned The Hunger Games sequel because he did not have enough time to prepare, it is unlikely that Disney would want him for Star Wars.
The Evil Dead director had no qualms about ripping off Star Wars when he directed the first Spider-Man film. (Peter Parker and Mary Jane's childhood meeting sounded all too familiar.) He also happens to be directing Oz: The Great and Powerful for Disney.
Thus, he's tailor-made for the job. That is, if the job is to run Star Wars into the ground.
As the director of the last few Harry Potter flicks, David Yates knows how to handle a big-budget franchise. He also knows how to take on a project he did not start.
In a word, "No!" And again, "PLEASE NO!"
Co-Writer: George Lucas
Not everyone would work well with Lucas. But if Spielberg gets the job to direct, he should co-write the script with Lucas (or at the very least beg for his harshest input) and hire an ultra-talented ghostwriter to polish it up.
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