[Nameplate] Fair ~ 57°F  
High: 83°F ~ Low: 71°F
Friday, July 11, 2014

Who will direct the next 'Star Wars' film?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

(Photo)
By CAINE GARDNER

Film Critic

After geeking out on the confirmation of a new "Star Wars" trilogy to hit theaters beginning in 2015, and the fact that creator/director/writer George Lucas wouldn't be at the film's helm, it got me to thinking -- who should direct the next trilogy?

And trust me, I'm not the only one wondering that. A slew of stories have hit the Internet as well at papers and magazines around the world. We're not talking about some little sci-fi project; we're talking about the greatest space opera of all time -- "Star Wars."

The usual suspects have been mentioned and mentioned often. At the top of that list is directors J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon. Both are geeks, both love Star Wars and both normally would have jumped at the change at directing anything "Star Wars."

However, I don't think there's a chance in Mustafar either one will be brought onto the project.

With the great divide that splits Star Wars fans from Trekkies, there's no chance the man who brought life back to the "Star Trek" series is coming aboard even if he wanted to. You can't have one guy playing in two sacred sandboxes. It just isn't far. His schedule fits, but I don't see it happening.

As far as Whedon is concerned, he's got a little project he's cooking up called "Avengers 2," anyone hear of that? That flick is scheduled for release May 1, 2015, the same month and year the new "Star Wars" flick will be release more than likely.

Both Abrams and Whedon have the pedigree, but the stars just don't align for either to come aboard. That being said, that doesn't mean we're going to see a hack slide behind the camera to direct a film Star Wars fans have been fantasizing about since the late 1970s and early '80s.

So without further delay, here is my list of Top 5 directors I would like to see get a call about director "Star Wars: Episode VII."

5. Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code)

For those who haven't caught either of Jones' two feature films, do yourself a favor and rent them -- NOW. "Moon" was my for Best Film of 2009 and it's still a movie that sticks with me. His name has also been mentioned with "Man of Steel" and "Dredd," so he's obviously on Hollywood's radar.

Jones is a young talent who has shown he can make a big film on a small budget, which is what Lucas accomplished with the first "Star Wars" flick back in 1977.

4. David Yates (final four Harry Potter films)

George has always said the "Star Wars" films are kids movies and Yates has extensive experience with that. He's directed the final four installments of the Harry Potter films, including the climactic "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and 2."

Yates has already stepped into an established franchise and was able to deliver the goods. Why do we think "Star Wars" would be any different?

3. Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class, Kick-Ass)

It seems that as soon as news broke that Episode VII was happening, Vaughn's named began popping up. Vaughn knocked it out of the ballpark with "X-Men: First Class" and showed he knows how to handle a big budget franchise film.

Vaughn mysteriously dropped out as director of the sequel to "First Class" recently, which only makes the heat surrounding him directing the new "Star Wars" film even hotter.

2. Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

One of the most obvious choices for me would be the man who has been mentored by Lucas himself.

Filoni knows "Star Wars" backward and forward, so for him to step behind the camera for Episode VII would be an easy move.

Although his experience is in television animation, Filoni has the chops to provide diehard fans a real treat on the big screen.

1. Steven Spielberg (Indiana Jones saga, Jaws)

For me, this is a no-brainer. Spielberg and Lucas have been friends for decades dating back to the 1960s, plus he's already played in the "Star Wars" sandbox. Spielberg worked some of pre-visualization sequences for "Revenge of the Sith," so he's already walked around in the world and knows what the universe feels like.

Spielberg's schedule is a little cluttered with "Robopocalypse" which is slated for release in 2014, but stranger things have happened. If anyone has the clout to make mountains move, it would be Spielberg.

Even for fans that like the prequel trilogy, some of the original magic seemed to be lost. The only film that somewhat captured it was "Revenge of the Sith," so bringing someone on board with Spielberg's talent and care for the story is crucial.

Remember, Lucas has handed over the keys to the saga before for two "Star Wars" films. In one instance, we got Irvin Kershner and "The Empire Strikes Back." Let's just pray we don't get a reoccurrence of Richard Marquand and "Return of the Jedi." I can't handle more Ewoks.

So there they are. Love them or hate them, those are my Top 5 directors to talk over for Lucas and direct the seventh installment of the "Star Wars" franchise.