Top 10 potential new Star Wars directors
Who's saying what
Now that Disney has prised George Lucas’ cold dead hand off the Star Wars franchise, forget all the jokes about Star Wars rides at Disneyland and Chewbacca teaming up with his long-lost brother Goofy: who’s going to take the wheel for the next film? While fans are running around shouting “save us Christopher Nolan, you’re our only hope”, out in the real world things look a little grimmer. Yes, the Star Wars franchise is a much-loved series with many high profile fans; it’s also got a recent history that’s done much to diminish all that goodwill, leaving behind only a rusted on fanbase with the knives out for anyone who screws it up. So why not take a risk? Why not hand it over to someone willing to mix things up a little? Why not expand the universe that's already been built? Oh right, Disney bought it. Guess the ten or so names here are just wishful thinking then.
Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Carribbean, Rango, The Lone Ranger)
Star Wars hasn’t been brought by your traditional production company. They’ve been bought by Disney, and Disney likes to do things in house with directors they like to work with. While you might be jumping up and down on the couch at the thought of one of the Disney-owned-Pixar directors stepping in to take over the series, get serious: when it comes to live action those guys can either do whatever the heck they like (Brad Bird after Mission: Impossible 4) or have done a stinker so massive it’s back to the animation salt mines for them (Andrew Stanton after John Carter). Otherwise, Disney certainly have a history with Tim Burton as a go-to guy for franchise hackwork, but let’s stay positive and keep thoughts of Alice in Wonderland as far from our minds as possible: Gore Verbinski did a semi-decent job with the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Rango showed he’s not afraid to experiment and The Lone Ranger, well, doesn’t look like the worst movie Disney’s ever made. Also, if it’s a Disney movie it’s going to feature Johnny Depp, so you might as well get in the director who can kinda make him seem more “fun” than merely “wacked-out on wowee-sause”.
Kevin Smith (Chasing Amy, Clerks, Mallrats) and / or Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz)
Celebrities who are also blatant Star Wars fanboys: adorable reminder that they’re as human as the rest of us, or painful one-note pandering to a fanbase they know will desperately embrace them with the heat of a million suns? Guess with the Star Wars movies now up for grabs, it’s these guys big chance to finally have their fanboy dreams come true – hey, it’s not like they haven’t already inserted themselves into Hollywood’s other big-time franchises (Die Hard for Smith, Star Trek and Mission: Impossible for Pegg). And their work there really improved those movies, right guys? Guys? Is this thing on?
Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank)
With the two Crank movies (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance not so much), Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor made the most unhinged action movies of the 21st century. So here’s the question: why does Star Wars have to be dull and ponderous and feature action lifted directly out of some 1930s swashbuckling adventure? Why can’t they instead be totally insane? We’re talking a franchise built on flying through space surrounded by weird aliens – why wouldn’t you act like a complete maniac, punching random strangers and taking loads of drugs between insults and gunning down dozens of bad guys? Crank 2 featured a living head in a jar, that’s total Star Wars shit right there. Also, Jason Statham in a Star Wars movie is the best idea ever.(clip NSFW)
Lena Dunham (Girls)
You know her as the star and creator of the acclaimed HBO comedy series Girls, but before that she was a successful indie film maker with Tiny Furniture. And let’s be honest, until now the Star Wars films idea of romance has largely involved a lot of hand-holding and the occasional unknowing brother-sister pash. Where’s Princess Leia masturbating after being bossed around by the Emperor? Where’s the scene where halfway through having sex with Padmé Amidala, Anakin Skywalker stops, takes off his condom, and masturbates over her while spinning the fantasy that she’s an eleven year-old heroin-addicted droid he found in the desert?
Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost (Paranormal Activity, Catfish)
Making a Star Wars movie costs a lot of money, and after the big budget debacle of John Carter, Disney are reportedly looking to keep both hands on the purse strings. So what better way to cut down the budget than by exploring the world of found footage? But while Schulman and Joost have done a pretty good job of keeping the genre alive with their work directing the last two Paranormal Activity films, it’s their previous film – the “is-it-real” documentary about a strange online relationship Catfish – that makes them perfect for the next Star Wars film. Especially if the next Star Wars film is one where they go door-to-door to Star Wars fans’ homes to film them as they start wailing and rending their garments at the news that George Lucas sold them out to The Mouse.
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David Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross)
Yes, he’s worked as a screenwriter on blockbusters before (The Untouchables and Ronin to name two), but the Glengarry Glen Ross playwright would be much more suited to the Star Wars franchise doing what he does best: writing astoundingly profane tales of men trying to screw each other over. Ever wanted to see Boba Fett and a bunch of other bounty hunters sitting around an office bickering over who gets the good leads to track down Han Solo? Here’s your big chance! Third prize is, you’re thrown out the airlock.
Working Dog (The Castle, Frontline)
If Any Questions For Ben taught us anything, it’s that Australia’s favourite big-screen comedy team know how to put a camera in a helicopter and fly it around Melbourne. Just imagine what they could do if that helicopter was flying around Tattooine! Though ideally they’d take the franchise more in the direction of The Castle, with Jabba the Hut saying the Han Solo in carbonite was going “straight in the pool room” and construction on the Death Star being held up by some plucky Ewoks whose house was in the main flight path.
Lars Von Trier (Melancholia, The Idiots, Dancer in the Dark, Dogville)
His last movie (Melancholia) opened with the Earth being slowly and beautifully being destroyed by a rogue planet! If that’s not the kind of star-smashing wide screen adventure that Star Wars fans have been begging to see, then Disney is in a world of trouble. Oh yeah, he’s kinda arty. And European. And tends to make movies that are kind of grim and brutal and depressing and occasionally involve genital mutilation (hello Antichrist). But he blew up the world!
Adam Sandler (The Wedding Singer, Happy Gilmore, That's My Boy)
The Star Wars franchise has been struggling for a while now, right? And despite a couple of recent, uh, missteps (Jack & Jill, That’s My Boy), Sandler (pictured) remains pretty much the closest thing Hollywood has to a sure-fire box office money-making machine. Depressingly. He’s worked with fantasy and make-up with Little Nicky, and he’s already got a foot in the door at Disney after making Bedtime Stories there a few years back. C’mon, Jabba the Hut’s hideout was basically a strip club anyway, having Sandler wander around for ninety minutes making “your jabba’s so fat” jokes while Rob Schneider says “you can dooo it” to Luke as he attacks the Death Star can’t be worse than The Phantom Menace.(clip NSFW)
Michael Bay (Transformers)
AHAHAHAHA you know this is who they’re actually going to get, right?