News dropped yesterday that Man of Steel director Zack Snyder will be directing a new Star Wars movie, but it’ll be a stand-alone film based on the Seven Samurai, not the first in Disney’s planned trilogy of sequels. A few hours later his spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that it simply wasn’t so: “While he is super-flattered because he is a huge fan, Zack is not involved in any way with the new Star Wars. He is currently in post on his two films, Man of Steel and 300: Battle of Artemisia.”
Confusing right? If you’re like us, then you’re having trouble keeping track of all of the recent Star Wars news. If Zack Snyder isn’t directing Episode VII — or the standalone film, for that matter — then who is? When’s it coming out? Will Carrie Fisher come back? And most importantly, will it at least be better than Phantom Menace? Here’s everything George Lucas, Disney, and others have let slip about what could be the most hotly anticipated movie since, well, the last Star Wars.
George Lucas Will Be Involved, But Not as Director
Disney first announced that a sequel trilogy was in the works after purchasing Lucasfilm in October 2012. Disney’s chairman Robert Iger praised as “a visionary, an innovator, and an epic storyteller” in an initial statement, and the company announced that Lucas would act as a consultant for the upcoming sequel franchise. An Entertainment Weekly interview with original series star Mark Hamill later revealed that Lucas told Hamill and former costar Carrie Fisher that he would not be directing the new films.
If Lucas Isn’t Directing It, Who Is?
Disney still hasn’t announced a director for Episode VII, but a few major candidates have already been ruled out. Zack Snyder has opted out of the trilogy in favor of a stand-alone film, Brad Bird denied any involvement with the franchise via Twitter, while Steven Spielberg told Access Hollywood that it’s “not my genre.” Nonetheless, producer Frank Marshall revealed on MTV News in mid-November that the director search was down to “a couple of candidates,” so we’ll likely find out sooner rather than later.
Michael Arndt Is Writing the Screenplay
Disney may not have pinpointed a director yet, but the company announced Episode VII’s screenwriter fairly quickly. Michael Arndt, who won an Academy Award in 2006 for penning dysfunctional family comedy Little Miss Sunshine, is already working over the story with Lucas and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. Arndt was also nominated for writing Toy Story 3and co-wrote upcoming blockbusters Oblivion and Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Luke, Leia, and Han Might Be Back
Anonymous, “informed” sources told Vulture in November that Arndt’s treatment includes older versions of the original trilogy’s three central protagonists. Given that those same sources tipped off Vulture to Arndt’s role in the upcoming production in the first place, this might well be reliable. Several actors from the original series, including Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, have expressed interest in reprising their roles as well.
It’s Coming Out in 2015