Zack Snyder possibly developing Star Wars spin-off for Lucasfilm?

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As we wait for the announcement on who will be taking on the directorial duties of Star Wars: Episode VII, something else has been brewing over at Lucasfilm. According to Vulture, director Zack Snyder (300, Man of Steel) is rumored to be developing a Star Wars project for LucasFilm and Walt Disney, but it’s not for Episode VII. The film he is developing is set in the post-Episode VI universe, and won’t be connected to the new trilogy. If the proposed Zack Snyder movie gets approved it would begin production some time after production starts on Star Wars: Episode VII. As for what he is developing, the article says that Snyder is developing a “Jedi epic loosely based on Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic Seven Samurai, with the ronin and katanas being replaced by the Force-wielding knights and their iconic lightsabers.”

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OH MY GOD.

For those that do not know, the story of Seven Samurai tells the tale of a small farming town in sixteenth-century Japan that’s annually robbed by bandits. Fed up with the bandits, the farmers decide to retaliate by recruiting seven masterless samurai to help protect their town. It has been well-known that George Lucas has been highly influenced by the great Akira Kurosawa, and at one point Lucas asked Toshiro Mifune – Kikuchiyo from Seven Samurai – was first asked to play the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi when the role eventually went to Sir Alec Guinness.

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Toshiro Mifune with a lightsaber. Awesome.

Zack Snyder’s reps have denied the report though, telling the Hollywood Reporter: “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.” Keep in mind that the reps said “not involved in the new Star Wars” but in no way did they say not involved in anything Star Wars. Vulture was quick to retort, updating their article to say:

Vulture takes the accuracy of its reports very seriously. And while a piece published in The Hollywood Reporter this evening quotes Snyder’s rep as saying that the director “is not involved in any way with the new Star Wars,” Vulture stands by its story. This reporter heard through a source very familiar with the situation that Snyder recently flew up to Marin County to meet with Lucasfilm execs about the project. When subsequently reached by Vulture, Snyder’s spokesperson would only repeat that he “is” not currently involved. One should note the possible political ramifications here of our original story break: Snyder’s last Warner Bros. film, Sucker Punch, lost millions for the studio, and execs there could have become distressed at the idea of him getting involved with another studio’s franchise when they have so much at stake with their upcoming Man of Steel and want him available for an immediate sequel.

To further back up Vulture’s claim, Variety writer Jeff Sneider tweeted this yesterday:

I hope these rumors are true, as Seven Samurai is a one of my top three favorite movies ever. Now if you wrap my second favorite movie in the universe of my fourth favorite movie then you have something special here (yes, this is a Parks and Recreation reference). I know Zack Snyder has gotten a bad rep recently with the maligned Sucker Punch, but the man knows how to make an action movie look grand. I, for one, approve of this idea, even if it is loosely based on Seven Samurai. We’ll update you as soon as more news hits.

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