Ever since the news broke that Disney would make “Star Wars VII,” there’s been heavy interest about who might be involved in the project. On Nov. 8, “Star Wars” creator and Lucasfilm co-chair and future president Kathleen Kennedy talked about the film, adding more news to fuel speculation.
So let’s sort through the news and rumors surrounding “Star Wars VII,” including what George Lucas and Kennedy said in their video interview for StarWars.com; speculation about the script; possible directors; and which original “Star Wars” actors might appear.
“Star Wars VII” script: As per the agreement with Disney, Lucas serves as the creative consultant on the three upcoming feature films but Kennedy is in control of the project. The only thing confirmed today is that “Star Wars VII” will be based on an original story, from Lucas, and not developed from pre-existing “Star Wars” books or materials.
“We’re sitting down with a couple of writers and we’re starting to discuss ideas and we’re starting to talk about what those stories might be,” Kennedy told StarWars.com.
Although the two don’t mention names, the latest screenwriter whose name has been raised is Michael Arndt. The writer penned “Toy Story 3,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” and the Oscar-winning script for “Little Miss Sunshine.” Arndt wrote in a 40- to 50-page film treatment, according to a report by Vulture. The site also says he will most likely involved when the movie starts production in 2014.
Update, Nov 10: Lucasfilm confirms Michael Arndt will write the script.
Who will sit in the “Star Wars VII” director’s chair: Two Hollywood directors whose names are being bandied about: Matthew Vaughn (“Kick Ass,” “X-Men: First Class”) and Colin Trevorrow (“Safety Not Guaranteed”).
Update, Nov. 12: More directors (including Trevorrow, Guillermo del Toro, J.J. Abrams and Jon Favreau) have weighed in on their interest in “Star Wars VII.” Updates on the search for a “Star Wars VII” director are posted on this article.
Other directors’ names have been mentioned, whether or not they’ve openly expressed interest. The MarketSaw blog, claiming an inside source, said Joss Whedon, Steven Spielberg, Darren Aronosky. Neill Blomkamp and Alfonso Cuarón are possibilities.
But before fans get too excited about the endless list of possibilities, Kennedy did suggest the director might be someone with whom she’s already worked. When asked what they were looking for in a director for “Star Wars II,” Kennedy told StarWars.com:
“Enthusiasm. Obviously having a sense of how to tell stories within complex worlds like this. There are many people who sprang to mind, writers and directors, that I’ve worked with in the past that I’m really excited to try and bring into the fold on this. I think we have a unique opportunity to go after some incredibly talented people.”
Given her extensive history, that’s a pretty long list, although it does point to some well-established names. And neither she nor Lucas shut down any possibilities – except to say the director will most likely be a fan of the property.
“It’s not going to be people who don’t already have some affinity for “Star Wars,” probably,” Kennedy said. “It’s going to be somebody who really appreciates what ‘Star Wars’ meant to them and is excited to dive in and be a part of this. That’s the thing that I think will become immediately apparent are the directors who walk into the room and say, ‘I can’t wait to be a part of this.’”
“Star Wars” fans might be thinking, “Who wouldn’t be interested in directing VII?” Well, there’s at least one director, and fan of the franchise, who’s indicated he would likely pass on the project. Zack Snyder (“Watchman,” “Man of Steel”) told the L.A. Times:
“I don’t think I’d be interested in directing it. I’m a huge ‘Star Wars’ fanatic. I just think doing episodes seven, eight and nine is just a slippery slope. It’s a whole other mythological experiment I’m excited to see, but it’s a lot of effort.”
Update, Nov. 9: Just a few hours after this article was published, Spielberg took himself off the list. The director, a frequent collaborator with Lucas, told Access Hollywood he’s not interested in doing a “Star Wars” film, saying:
“No! No! It’s not my genre. … It’s my best friend George’s genre.”
“Star Wars” characters and the return of Luke, Leia and Han Solo: The biggest news here isn’t that Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher knew that Lucas was thinking about a third “Star Wars” trilogy or that they might be interested, but that Harrison Ford weighed in. Sort of.
Entertainment Weekly reported via an inside source that Ford, who’s long been on record as being lukewarm about Han Solo, might be interested in returning for “Star Wars VII.” His involvement, though, would be dependent on the script and the director.
As for Hamill and Fisher, their support of Lucas and “Star Wars” is well documented. That didn’t stop TMZ from asking Fisher if she would be interested in one of their trademark paparazzi on-the-street interviews, to which the actress and writer replied, “Wouldn’t you?”
But it’s Hamill’s return as Luke Skwalker that perhaps provides the most interesting rumors of where “Star Wars VII” might head. MarketSaw claims Hamill will play and (inevitably) older Luke. The Marketsaw Blog’s inside source, if accurate, says the film will include:
“Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, C3PO and R2D2 are I am assured to feature prominently in the new trilogy, as was always the idea. Apparently some [actors] have already been approached. Quite a while back too to my understanding. Hamill is a certainty.”
While not much has been confirmed about “Star Wars VII,” three things seem certain from the steady stream of rumors and speculation. One, fan interest in “Star Wars” remains strong. Two, Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm and decision to add three new “Star Wars” films was a savvy business move. Three, more rumors and speculation, as well as actual news about “Star Wars VII” is sure to follow.
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