May 7, 2014
FILMS THAT SHOULD BE MADE: Zack Snyder's SEVEN SAMURAI Inspired STAR WARS Spin-Off
Disney has confirmed that Star Wars spin-offs are coming and we should expect three of them. The release dates haven't been revealed but are expected to be 2017, 2019 and 2020, with main Episodes 7-9 to be released between them. We hear that Larry Kasdan is still working on a Boba Fett script, but that apparently hasn't been greenlit by the studio. Other possible spin-off movies include ones based around Yoda and Han Solo (there has also been talk of movies based on Jabba The Hutt and Star Wars: Rebels).
During the days of, who is going to direct Star Wars: Episode VII? An interesting story arose from the trades, which pointed to a Star Wars pitch from director Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300, Man of Steel). His film would be greatly inspired by Akira Kurosawa's classic film The Seven Samurai. A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.
Something George Lucas had previously did with New Hope, taking direct cue's from Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress. Not mention lifting entire shots and scenes from the film.
Snyder would eventually deny the pitch every took place, a common practice these days as directors and actors will deny any involvement to press about potential projects. In Zack's case likely due to his then unannounced commitments to the Man of Steel sequel Batman Vs Superman and now Justice League, which he was also taking with Warner Bros. about. Abrams himself lied about his involvement with Episode VII, until he was announced by Lucasfilm as it's director. It should be noted that when it comes to Star Wars just expect everything to be denied, until a press release from their site confirms it.
My impression is that Zack both signed a non-disclosure agreement with Lucasfilm, as did a majority of other directors who were courted around the same time (Matthew Vaughn..ect), and he also didn't want to look like his idea was being rejected by the studio. For all intensive purposes it looks like that film may never happen, as Zack's commitments to the DCU have increased. He could be called upon to direct even more DC movies in the future.
It's also possible that Zack might ask to leave Warner Bros. to make other movies, such as Christopher Nolan did between Batman films with The Prestige and Inception. When Justice League wraps, that would make it three back-to-back DCU installments from Snyder. I'm sure he'll want a bit of break from the comic book genre. Synder proved with the Krypton scenes in Man of Steel, he could have an interesting take visually on the Star Wars universe. I still believe this could end up happening, but it's a long-shot.
It's hard to say where Lucasfilm will want to go with Han Solo, but I do believe incorporating the Seven Samurai elements into a Yoda film could work very well together. Establishing an untold mission Yoda and other exiled jedi took-on, could be a very compelling spin-off or standalone feature. Even more so if it was set within the new Rebels saga, which is apparently official canon. Having a rag-tag group of former jedi knights who have been on the run or hiding from the Empire, coming together for a common goal or one last heroic event. Before they truly dissolve the jedi order as Kenobi and Yoda did by hiding out on remote planets, and never contacting the other jedi again.
I'm sure Rebels will try to explain what has happened to the remaining the jedi across the universe, but this could specifically speak to Yoda, Ashoka Tano (finally appearing in the films) and even Kenobi. I just feel like Seven Samurai screams jedi knights, and if the legacy/expanded universe if off-limits. Placing it into Yoda movie, set within the timeline of Rebels could make for an extremely entertaining adventure. We could even see the Rebels team get into the mix, with new cowboy jedi Kanan and even possibly Ezra. That's already five of seven spots possibly filled with canon characters.
Of course, Synder could end-up locking into a crazy contract with Warner Bros. to direct all the DC films (which would be insane for both the studio and Zack). Placing this whole idea into limbo, which for all we know will be it's fate. I'm excited at the possibility of Zack tackling a Star Wars movie, even if can't even admit to his pitch ever happening. Allowing him to play within the Star Wars sandbox, could be one of the more bold moves Lucasfilm might make moving forward with these spin-offs.