With the new Star Wars trilogy now the most talked about movies since, well, the last Star Wars trilogy, you'd think that every director in the world would be campaigning Disney to take over for George Lucas as the creative voice behind Episode VII. And while we'd be surprised if there's a single director in the world who hasn't at least thought about it, many of the biggest names in the entertainment industry have actually turned the new trilogy down, if not officially, then at least publically to the media.
One of those major talents is Steven Spielberg, who was bandied about as a possible director as recently as yesterday, when news came that Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt had turned in a 40+ page treatment for the new movie that was going to cross the Lincoln director's desk. When asked about his interest in Episode VII by Access Hollywood, Spielberg replied, "No! No! It's not my genre. It's my best friend George's genre." By "George" he is of course referring to Geroge Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars franchise who also produced Spielberg's extremely successful Indiana Jones series.
But what of Quentin Tarantino, the Django Unchained director who has previously expressed interest in mainstream franchises like James Bond in the past? He told Entertainment Weekly, "I could so care less. Especially if Disney's going to do it. I'm not interested in the Simon West version of Star Wars." We're not sure who should be insulted more, Disney or Simon West. Probably Disney. In any case, so much for Tarantino.
What about someone a little more mainstream? Someone who makes big bombastic entertainments and is perfectly willing to accept a major challenge like The Watchmen or the new Superman movie, Man of Steel? Zack Snyder seems to be fascinated by the idea, but daunted by the challenge, telling The Los Angeles 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."
Too close to George Lucas, too worried about the franchise being run by a corporate entity, too worried about screwing it up… These are perfectly good reasons to stay away from Star Wars: Episode VII, but it begs the question of which director is actually willing to take the risk of doing Star Wars, inviting unprecedented fan scrutiny and potentially screwing up the franchise even further? More to the point, who's willing to work hard enough, and has the artistic vision necessary to take Star Wars to greater heights than ever before? Is it Matthew Vaughn, or someone we haven't even considered yet? Who would you like to see direct Star Wars: Episode VII… assuming, of course, that in the end somebody has to?
You can follow Bibbs on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.