Monday, 19 November 2012

Whose set for the director's chair?

Since the news of new Star Wars films on the horizon, film lovers and Star Wars fans have been biting their nails with the news of who will direct the 7th film in the franchise. As is normal procedure the web as become alive with peoples views of who should and shouldn't and who would and wouldn't. Especially since the news of Michael Arndt, Oscar winning writer Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3, set to pen the script for the new installment.

Many directors' names have been thrown about in the arguments of who should be the next director of the saga. Typically Steven Spielberg's name was mentioned a lot in the discussions but he replied saying "It's not my genre. Its my friend's George's genre". And it is no surprise that Spielberg wouldn't want to take the task on. He recently just finished his biopic of Abraham Lincoln which is set to be released in January, he is directing Roboapolycpse for release in 2014. A film that seems to be a monumental task to bring to the screen. As well he is producing the next two installments of the Tintin trilogy, the fourth Jurassic Park (if that ever gets out of the writing stage) and the untitled fourth Transformers. As well Spielberg has reached the status of being able to freely pick whatever he wants to make and the task of attaching yourself to another franchise to direct three films seems simply insane. So Spielberg would seem like a very logical choice but the task seems to big for Spielberg with his calendar pretty much full. Another name that was mentioned was Mission Impossible 4's Brad Bird. Speculation of Bird's involvement in the new project blossomed when it was announced that in May he was set to direct Disney's 1952 and many fans conjured up the idea that Bird's new film was in fact a hidden name for the new Star Wars film. But 1952 was scripted by Damon Lindelof and Jeff Jensen, so Bird's involvement was simple speculation.

One of the best confessions of denial have to come from Tarantino, who when asked if he was set to direct the new Star Wars film replied with "I could so care less. No, sorry. Especially if Disney’s going to do it. I’m not interested in the Simon West version of Star Wars." So Tarantino can be quickly ruled out the list. Another popular choice was 300 and Watchmen's director Zack Snyder. Its obvious to see where this speculation has come from, Snyder has made quite a reputation for himself with films like 300 and Sucker Punch with effects driven, action based fantasy films. But Snyder's dynamic style would struggle to fit the Star Wars structure, it would be a completely different take and visual style then has previously been exhibited in the franchise. As well Snyder has only just finishing the new Superman film, Man of Steel, which if the trailer is anything to go by a complete overhaul of Snyder's typical style with a stronger focus on realism. A not too unorthodox option would be J.J. Abrams, director of Stark Trek and Super 8, much like Snyder's appeal to the fans with his big budget blockbusters and effects, Abrams is a pretty safe bet to helm the next set of films. Although fans may be dissapointed to know that the director has denied any claims to being attached to the film stating to The Hollywood Reporter that “I almost feel that, in a weird way, the opportunity for whomever it is to direct that movie, it comes with the burden of being that kind of iconic movie and series." It is not difficult to understand Abrams' hesitation in taking on another franchise due to his involvement in Star Trek and personal projects his likely to want to take on.

Guillermo Del Toro may be a bit of an odd choice to direct the new Star Wars. His films such Hellboy and Pans Labyrinth are fantastical tales with warped and weird creatures, much like Star Wars. The director said he hasn't been approached to do the film, only that his heard rumors of his name being thrown about, so his involvement would seem unlikely to say the less. And he as only just finished his new film Pacific Rim, which seems if makes enough at the box office could warrant a new franchise. Although it would demonstrate a bold move if they had picked Del Toro who would more then likely create a beautiful universe to sit alongside the originals. With no surprise Joss Whedon's name has been thrown into the mix. After his super, massive successful summer blockbuster, The Avengers, his name was going to appear on people's lists no matter what. But it seems heavily unlikely that his participation would be possible, with his commitments to the Marvel phase two being to strong and with Avengers 2 set for release the same year as Star Wars 7 would make it impossible for Whedon to be flexible enough to do both. And worse still, if he couldn't do Avengers 2 for the sake of Star Wars 7 it wouldn't be surprising if the sequel heavily felt his absence.

Of course there are obvious and boring candidates whose names are common throughout blog sites. Jon Favreau being one of them. Having directed Cowboys and Aliens and Iron man, Favreau is very much an in house director for Disney but in my opinion his a particularly dull, easy choice for Disney to choose. He doesn't have a particular style that would make the new film stand out in any manner. Christopher Nolan was another rather obvious candidate for the job. Not to say his a boring director in any way but it would be a travesty for Nolan's massive creative potential to be ruined by attaching himself to another franchise. His Batman trilogy, although massively celebrated, had nothing on Nolan's separate body of work such as Inception and Following, in which Nolan expressed his potential. And it would appear that he feels the same with the recent news that he wants to have more creative control over his next films and it would be uncharacteristic of Disney to allow Nolan mass amounts of creative control. The possibilities of Nolan's future films are endless and incredibly exciting.

Although its not likely Disney could throw a curve ball and catch people out with their choice.Three directors who spring to my mind as left field choices would be Shane Carruth, Mike Cahill and Rian Johnson. Carruth's 2004 indie film Primer was a tour de force of imagination and talent, despite not receiving the massive amount of release it should have been gifted to it went unnoticed and Carruth has struggled to get his other projects off the ground. So its pretty much a dead cert that Carruth would be nowhere on Disney's list, his lack of big budget and his lack of fame would be a straight turn off for Disney. But their lose, Carruth is most definitely my favorite new director. Cahill as well is probably not to be found on Disney's list of candidates and its a real shame. Cahill wrote and directed, as well as being his own Director of photography, 2011 Another Earth. Which a lot like Primer was released on limited release with a very indie following. Yet it exhibited a new wave of science fiction, in the same vein as Duncan Jones' Moon. But sadly Cahill's inexperience would defiantly shine through, although Another Earth fails at being flawless Cahill is one to watch. Rian Johnson has more possibility then either Cahill or Carruth. More so this year then ever after his autumn release of Looper, an intelligent science ficiton film concerning time travel and hit men. Johnson demonstrated he could helm a medium sized budget science fiction films with popular and great response but that would likely be his downfall as well. Johnson has never done a massive film, like Star Wars 7 would be, so despite his massive amount of talent would likely be over looked.

David Lynch, this is a name I haven't heard in anyone';s discussions and it may not be as obscure as you would think. George Lucas himself approached Lynch, after seeing Lnych's 1984 adaptation of Dune, and offered him the role of director on The Return of the Jedi but Lynch turned it down and went on to make Blue Velvet. But it ignites the imagination thinking of a world in which David Lynch managed to direct a Star Wars film. Whether it would have been helmed in a bit and dulled down or Lynch had managed to make his film, I can only imagine it being completely bizarre with Luke's inner consciousness explored in Lynchian fashion, it would have been an amazing experience even if it had turned out like Dune. But his inclusion in this list is simply for my own self satisfaction, if Lynch turned down Jedi then he would presumably do the same for the 7th although Disney doesn't have the balls to appoint a great director like Lynch to the point of director.

The two best candidates in my opinion are Matthew Vaughn, director of Layer Cake and Kick-ass and Duncan Jones' director of Moon and Source Code. The speculation surrounding Vaughn's involvement was born when he turned down the X-MEN first class film as well as turning down the sequel to Kick-Ass. So there is real evidence that Vaughan could be the man for the job. Layer Cake established he had the ability to create a film with great class and style, X-MEN displayed his ability to reboot an already dead franchise in perfect fashion and Kick-Ass demonstrated he has balls. Jones' CV for potential candidate is an obvious one. Under his belt, Jones has two strong science fiction films. Moon a film that harks back to such classic science fiction as Silent Running and 2001, demonstrated that Jones had the ability to create amazing looking films and manage to have an original idea at the heart. He continued this with his follow-up Source Code, which cemented his science fiction credentials and exhibited his ability to make a strong science fiction yet still manage to harvest originality. Jones for me, is the perfect choice with his ability to stun his audience visually with a smart and intriguing visual presence as well as engaging them mentally with smart and intriguing storytelling. So for me Jones is Disney's best bet in rebooting the Star Wars Franchise with a new, more stylized visual atheistic to award the beloved fans,

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