Unless you’ve been frozen in carbonite, you should already know that Star Wars Episode 7 is now a reality. The long delayed ‘sequel’ trilogy was last dismissed by Lucas, a move likely influenced by the nerd fury associated with the prequels, is now the plans of Disney who have just acquired Lucasfilm following his retirement. Disney, riding on a wave of success with its recent acquisitions (Marvel etc), appears to be the perfect choice to rejuvenate a franchise with a divided fan base.
With Michael Arndt attached to write (and Empire Strikes Back scribe Lawrence Kasdan rumoured for the inevitable sequel) and the original series cast keen to return, all bodes well for the new trilogy.
But the question now is who will be in the director’s chair? And while it could be a while before a final decision is publicized, below is a look at who is in and who is out of the podrace.
Matthew Vaughn – The undeniable front-runner in the director race is the Kick-Ass director whose recent surprise pull out of the X-Men First Class sequel left many rumours flying. Ignited by Jason Flemyng’s apparent red carpet slip up (“Me and Matt have done nine films together, so I’m sure I’ll get the call for Star Wars.”) it seems all that is left is for Disney to confirm his involvement. Although if Kick-Ass is anything to go by, it could promise a different take on the series if Princess Leia had the same linguistic temperament as Hit-Girl.
David Fincher – A dark direction for Star Wars? This is one that would probably bring back gravitas to a series troubled by accusations of ruined childhood. While like Vaughn there’s been no official word, he seems like a great choice, especially having worked for ILM in his youth.
Jon Favreau – Probably the biggest Star Wars fan in the known universe, he has openly talked of his infatuation with all things Lucas. He doesn’t seem like the greatest choice (say ‘Elf director for Star Wars 7‘ out loud and you’ll see why) but there are some industry reports that he is panting after the job. Lucas, lock your door.
Guillermo Del Toro – Comparing Star Wars to a supermodel, the fantasy director has confessed he has neither asked for the role nor been approached for it but appears to be tempted by the idea. He is currently producing or directing pretty much every future Hollywood project imaginable however and may not have time to take something else on. Yet while fans were deprived of his Hobbit, perhaps the next best thing will be to see what he can do with a lightsabre.
Brad Bird – Currently working on an unknown science fiction film, he was strong with the force until he confirmed it was a film with Damon Lindelof, tentatively titled 1952. Still, if it’s a Lindelof script it could turn out to have Sith involvement somewhere.
Steven Spielberg – While he seems like one of the perfect choices, the Hollywood icon has been linked with the series numerous times before but has already ruled himself out from interfering with long-time friend Lucas’ personal brainchild.
JJ Abrams – Abrams would be another ideal rebel leader but recently commented his status as a fan is one he’d like to keep intact. Plus he’s also the director of little known competing science fiction series Star Trek.
David Lynch – Fans of the surrealist are still tempted by the potential of his Return of the Jedi to this day, yet it is never to be. Possibly the most interesting version of Star Wars we would ever see, fans can breathe a sigh of relief that it is never going to happen.
Ken Loach – A socially realistic drama about a farm boy embroiled in poverty and starvation? Star Wars as we know it, it is not.