Who Should Direct Star Wars Episode VII?

Since Disney scooped up another huge company with a plethora of franchise rights, it’s no surprise that Star Wars Episode VII was given the green light. For some reason Disney thought they’d start asking the most unlikely of candidates to helm the restart of the franchise, Steven Spielberg (friend of George Lucas), Quentin Tarantino (not necessarily a family filmmaker or a sci-fi filmmaker for that matter), and Zach Snyder (please god no). The director will likely be someone whom few of us have heard of, someone whom the studio can push around a bit, a young guy. All the rock star directors are too busy with their own projects. Passing off the Star Wars franchise to new hands is like trying to give your size 12 sneaker to a pal of yours who wears a size 10, it’s not your story, you have no right to tell it truthfully nor for that matter properly. This is George’s series, it’s going to be tough to find anyone whom can convey the emotion of Star Wars again like Lucas did. Maybe this is what the franchise needs, a new set of eyes, and hands… and mouth. I’d like to take some time to nominate suggestions of my own, and also ask the community whom they’d think could bring some fire under the very settled stew of Star Wars. This list doesn’t include writers or producers or actors, or editors, or cinematographers or composers or any of the other endless positions that are required to create a solid film. But the stronger the hands holding these people together, the better chance we get a better Star Wars.

1. Tarsem Singh

Tarsem Singh

Tarsem Singh’s The Fall is a labor of pure, true love, and you can feel it as you’re watching. He has an incredible story, running away from India with nothing, to chase his dream of making films. Now he doesn’t care what he’s doing as long as he gets to make beautiful imagery. The Fall feels like a fairy tale, and a fairy tale is exactly what George Lucas set out to do with the original Star Wars trilogy. Tarsem Singh could spice up Star Wars both visually, and make it magical again.

2. Rupert Sanders

Rupert Sanders

Mr. Sanders has only officially directed one feature length film, and I found a short of his based on a comic book but never watched it, it was one of those things that sat in a tab on my browser for a day or two before I blew it off completely. Snow White and The Huntsman was impressive. For a feature film debut it was excellent. Considering what he was given to work with, which was no doubt the studios call, he pulled off both one of the most vibrant visual spectacles of the year, and managed to tell a pretty darn compelling story with some fascinating characters. I actually bought into the love story and I loved Charlize Theron, the seven dwarfs, and Chris Hemsworth. Kristen Stuart is another story, as my mother says “dat bitch can’t act!” I think under a fantastic producer like Jerry Bruckheimer or JJ Abrams, this could be a reality. While Spielberg is a great filmmaker and Lucas a fantastic business man, I disagree that either of them are strong producers at this point. Spielberg seems to lack the eye and heart for it (he’s been on the directors end for too long and sympathizes) and Lucas is far more concerned with toy sales rather than the integrity of the film.

3. Brad Bird

Brad Bird

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol was excellent. Brad Bird threw his stamp on the franchise nice a big for everyone to see. His sense of action and adventure are incredible (Dubai tower action scene). He’s also able to tell a great bed time story, The Iron Giant is a kids friendly sci-fi film that evokes a Spielbergian sense of nostalgia. Like JJ Abrams Super 8 only better. The Incredibles is also my favorite Pixar film.

4. Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan

This one is really just for fun. I can’t see Nolan taking these reigns in a million years. While he is a huge Star Wars fan, I don’t think Disney would go with his adult themes. Nolan would also want to painstakingly study the films themes and characters to no end, and then throw in everything he thinks on the subject. I love the idea of him behind the camera but I can’t see it happening.

Please share any directors you think should take over the series, and maybe a brief summary of why.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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  1. Mike G

    I been wanting Brad Bird since day 1 I heard the announcement. He’s a fantastic storyteller, just look at his work with Pixar, and proved he can handle live action film making. I don’t think he’s someone who would let his ego get in the way of the material. Don’t know if he will do it, since he has a film with Disney already in development.

  2. Brad Bird is a great choice. Rupert Sanders I’m less enthusiastic about. I found Snow White and the Huntsman a pretty boring film and I’d rather see Sanders deliver something else before jumping into the biggest film series of all time.

    Personally I’d go with Rian Johnson.

    • Mike G

      I want Rian Johnson to stay away because I rather him keep making original movies. I wouldn’t be angry if he did Star Wars, but he’s better for Hollywood if he does his own thing.

    • Questinno

      I’m not too sure about Mr Bird. I did not enjoy Snow White either. 1+ for Rian Johnson.

  3. Questinno

    To begin with, great choices and enjoyed reading. My personal choice would simply be Darren Aronofsky! Shame that he did not end up making the Wolverine movie as it would have been interesting to see his take on it. Anyway, grab a moment and imagine what Darren Aronofsky could do with Star Wars… yes, it would be that cool.

    • Mike G

      I’m still bitter that Aronofsky didn’t end up doing Robocop. Oh what could have been 🙁

  4. I agree with the Rian Johnson sticking to his own work, but Aronofsky, not so much. Sure the guy is a fantastic filmmaker but can he direct action as well as he can actors?

  5. You have some interesting choices, and I enjoyed reading your thoughts. I hadn’t even thought of Brad Bird, but I did love “Iron Giant” and “The Incredibles.” I just wonder how a new director will balance bringing his own vision to the Star Wars universe while still maintaining the original heart and soul of the story and characters.

  6. Jordan

    Brad Bird, because he seems like an awesome person, as well as a talented director. He seems like he would be a Star Wars fan, so I think he would work very hard to make it good.

  7. MaxFrederick

    My vote is also on Brad Bird. If he’s involved, then maybe I can be excited about Star Wars again. Just so long as Damon Lindelof is not involved. We don’t need another Prometheus.

  8. Robiniha

    Here is a twist: Yimou Zhang directing. Will probably never happen but one can dream.

  9. Kevin Licht

    As long as they keep Michael Bay away I’m fine with whoever… but wouldn’t Spielberg make a lot of sense, along with Joss Whedon? Whedon made The Avengers work, so I think he may be able to make anything good. I also like the Brad Bird suggestion.

    • Brandon Somma

      Last time Spielberg did something for his friend George Lucas (Indian Jones), we got Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. You can’t force these things on a filmmaker, they have to really want to tell the story. I considered Whedon, but I still think the studios will go for someone younger. But really it’s also a contract thing, who can Disney get.

      • Kevin Licht

        Yeah, I understand the thinking but I do think they’re going to try to get as big a name as they possibly can for this, even though Star Wars is a brand of it’s own and this would be a good time to give an up and coming director a good shot.

  10. Getter Trumsi

    I was just thinking if having 5 to 1 would be better as a list format that 1 to 5. But I don’t think it matters.. I’m not sure about Brad Pitt for Star Trek but I would be interested to see what Nolan would do since he is less interested in CGI and more in doing a lot of the things realistically.

  11. Mike G

    Well Brad Bird took himself out of the running through his twitter. That’s another name to scratch off the list.

  12. I think any of them would do an excellent job. The down fall of the previous set of films is that there was way to much control by one individual in the creative process. A movie is a collaborative effort and if you stifle the group vision and have no one to keep you in check the film suffers.

    The Disney new model of letting creative people do their own work without man handling the franchise seemed to work with the Avengers. They might do quite well with this new venture.

  13. David Tatlow

    Any love for Bryan Singer? The guy has done some good work with ensembles (Usual Suspects) and in X2 he created one of the best comic-book adaptations thus far. With the kinds of clashing personalities you have in the X-men, I think Singer’s experience could be a decent fit. He has a good eye for light humour too, the kind that Star Wars deals in. He wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice, but he could be a good fit.

    Love this piece by the way!

  14. Jordan David

    George Lucas! 😀 … just kiddking

  15. Joseph Chastain

    Duncan Jones.

  16. David Mancini

    I wouldn’t have minded Joss Whedon. His ability to include great depth from each of the previous Marvel movies into The Avengers was great. He is great with effects and making a film including details from many. I am sure he would have been a great choice.

  17. Francesca Turauskis

    Well you weren’t right, but Chris did do his own little space project…

  18. Tatijana

    You mention Abrams but didn’t really say much about him. What are your thoughts now that we know he was the one?

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