So we’ve all been paying attention to the Star Wars news, and it’s been rather exciting. I don’t want to talk too much about it all in this post. I would just like to create a dream list of 10 directors and pontificate possible plots for each.
First, the SURE THING and my take on it.
J.J. Abrams – We’ve already heard Mr. Abrams will be helming the next SW movie, and we’ve heard about what the next two films will focus on. I personally hope J.J. takes us on the Boba Fett adventure.
And now, my WISHLIST!! (In no particular order.)
1. Joss Whedon – The other movie will focus on Han Solo, and I think Mr. Whedon would best serve this one. I’d like to see an Indy style opener that shows us Chewie’s escape from the salt mines before a new buddy epic brings these two rogues together. And I’d like to meet some other unique characters for Joss to flesh out. As far as Han, I wish Heath Ledger were still alive to play the part, but Ryan Reynolds, Joseph Gordon Levitt, or Nathan Fillian would serve.
2. Sam Raimi – Could you imagine a Sam Raimi vision of the Dark Side? It would put the scary back into what has become emo. Unless he taps his Spiderman 3 joo-joo, which I can only imagine was done to spite an uncooperative studio. I’d like to see a Vader/Emperor rise of the Empire story. Nothing origin inducing. Just a cool, dark story told in that period.
3. Kenneth Branagh – Those of us who played Knights of the Old Republic know the potential of a story told an even longer time ago in a galaxy far a way. Branagh is the master of Shakespearean wit and whimsy on film, and this era would feel ancient and yet verile in his hands. And, Ken, please give us some HK-47!
4. Tim Burton – I know this might come as a shock to some of you. I’ve not always been so kind to Burton, but he has made two of my favorite movies (“Big Fish” and “Ed Wood”). And I also liked a couple others quite a bit (“Beetlejuice” and “Mars Attacks”). I just think he’s lost his passion of late, and I feel like a good script doesn’t matter much to him. It’s often style without substance, but I think a Star Wars movie might be the challenge he needs to push himself further. And let’s be honest, though we’ve seen enough Burton/Carter/Depp collaborations, we’d all like to see one with lightsabers and Dagobah swamps! I have no clue what their movie should be about, but I’d kill to see Johnny Depp banter with Yoda!
5. Gore Verbinski – His “Pirates” movies started off light and fun and got dark and plodding. I’d love to see the style and charm of the first brought to Star Wars, and the style of the others would be a great fit for the scenes with the baddies. I think Gore would be ideal with a prequel era tale that let’s us see less of Jar Jar type antics and more of pod racers, droids, clones, and Darth Maul.
6. Jon Favreau – His Iron Man movies were phenomenal, and “Zathura” showed he’s handy with ship-in-the-bottle space epics. I’d like to see him expand that vision and shower us with a Droids adventure. Please redeem C3PO’s legacy, and show us the heroism of R2D2.
7. Frank Oz – Yoda himself. His library of directed films shows you how capable he is. “The Dark Crystal,” “Indian in the Cupboard,” “The Muppets Take Manhattan,” and one of my top ten favorite films, “Little Shop of Horrors.” The man can create a believable universe with a universe of possibilities. Dude made Kermit ride a bike, he can make Darth Vader cool again! I see a self contained story here. One that takes a young Padawan adventurer on a quest through familiar and new locations. An added bonus if he or she is trying to be light sided but finds that they are an unwitting tool for evil!
8. Steven Spielberg – One can dream, right? And as long as he’s truly autonomous, he’ll handle the material with ease. In other words, Steven, don’t let George influence you too much here. I’d love to see a cross between “Jurassic Park” and “Minority Report.” Pack it with interesting characters, a gripping adventure, and a moral quandary of some sort, and we’ve got a hit! I’d personally like to see a Shadows of the Empire era story from Steven. One that brings back Harrison, Mark, Carrie, and Billy Dee to push along the dramatic narrative but focuses on their kids for the action.
9. Lawrence Kasdan – I know that Disney has asked the writer of “Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi,” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” to come on board as a consultant, but come on! Thanks to the focus on George Lucas with Star Wars and both Lucas and Spielberg for Indiana Jones, this man is one of the most underrated talents in Hollywood. It always kills me when people forget to give credit to Mr. Kasdan and Irvin Kershner. In my opinion, it’s time for Lawrence to shine! He proved he can handle an epic action flick with “Silverado,” and he certainly doesn’t lack from other directing credits. Dude even wrote the “Shadows of the Empire” video game! If Disney is serious about yearly installments, he is the obvious choice to direct one of these exploits! I would not presume to tell Lawrence what to write or how, but I will say this. This is Harrison Ford and Lawrence Kasdan’s chance to finally wrap up Han’s story the way they wanted to in Jedi!
This last spot will be a hard one to fill. There are so many great names I could drop here. Robert Zemeckis, Peter Jackson, Brad Bird, Christopher Nolan, Guillermo del Toro, David Fincher, Robert Rodriguez, James Cameron, or Kathryn Bigelow. Heck! Even Ron Howard, Mel Gibson, Spike Lee, or Clint Eastwood!! Each of these directors would make such an interesting work of art from the world George Lucas big banged. And that’s kind of the point. The possibilities are endless!!
But I’d like to go out with a dark horse. A perfect storm that simply will never happen.
10. Martin Scorsese – I mean, I guess it could happen. He is an extremely commercial filmmaker, and he did make “Hugo” for the kids. But I don’t want a movie for the kids. I want a Jabba the Hut gangster flick that shows us the seedy underbelly of the Hut empire. I want to see the bloody racketeering, the intimidation, the Rancor pit gambling, and the hit list in action. I want to see Count Dooku wake up with a tauntaun head in his bed. I want to see DeNiro as a Mon Calamari and Daniel Day Lewis as a Rodian teamed up to control the supply of cilona-extract death sticks in the Bakura system. I want to see Joe Pesci beat down a Twi’lek stripper. Let’s make it happen, Disney!!
- Okay. Now it’s your turn! Who would you like to see with the reigns of Star Wars? And what would you like to see them come to the table with? Even if it’s someone I mentioned here, I’d love to hear your thoughts!!
NOTE: I’ve updated some of the pictures as they were coming up as broken links.