Just who is directing Star Wars: Episode VII? Apparently, everyone and their mother are in the running according to the internet. There are some serious names, some speculative names and finally some people that are only in the running due to fan speculation. Here at TheForce.net, we hope to be able to provide a centralized list of the names that are in the running, whether they have issued any statements about their 'candidacy' and provide fodder for any future candidates that pop up!
To start, the biggest news for this post is Colin Trevorrow has taken himself out of the running earlier today, as evidenced on Twitter.
To clarify, there is another film we all love that I'm currently trying not to mess up. Odds I will direct Episode VII: 3720 to 1.
Next we have the list of directors that have flat out denied being involved with the future Star Wars sequel.
Steven Spielberg – "It's not my genre," the director explained. "It's my best friend George’s genre." via Access Hollywood
J.J. Abrams – "I am looking forward more then anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!” via HollywoodLife.com
Zack Snyder – "I don’t think I’d be interested in [directing it]," Snyder said during a recent interview. "I'm a huge 'Star Wars' fanatic. I just think doing [episodes] seven, eight and nine is just a slippery slope." via LA Times
Quentin Tarantino – "No, sorry. Especially if Disney’s going to do it. I'm not interested in the Simon West version of Star Wars." via Entertainment Weekly
Sam Mendes – director of James Bond's recent Skyfall also dismissed it during a recent interview (at approximately the 38:47 mark) via iTunes-Meet the Filmmaker
Other contenders whose name have been bandied about include: Peter Jackson, Jon Favreau, Joe Johnston, Matthew Vaughan, Guillermo del Toro, David Yates, Joss Whedon, & M. Night Shyamalan. They have varied statements about their involvement or wishes to be involved. Directors Peter Jackson and Joss Whedon are most likely too busy with their own film projects (The Hobbit and Avengers 2 respectively) to be asked to direct. Vaughan, while having dropped out of X-Men: Days of Future Past seems likely to be a shoe-in for the short list, but not so says writing partner Mark Milar, who says that they are instead working on the film adaptation of their comics series Secret Service. Finally del Toro makes it sound as if he's been approached, but not officially approached, with his coy words! So, that leaves a few other names floating around. How do we make some educated guesses?
If you check out the video below (the 2nd in the series of talks between Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas) Lynn Hale asks the question (at approximately 2:09) "What are you looking for in a director?"
Kennedy responds: 'Enthusiasm, obviously, you know, having a sense of how to tell stories within complex worlds like this. There are many people who sprang to mind with writers and directors that I have worked with in the past that I'm really excited to try to bring into the fold on this. I think we have a unique opportunity to go after some incredibly talented people. It's not going to be people who don't already have some affinity for Star Wars probably. It's going to be somebody who really appreciates what Star Wars meant to them and is excited to dive in and be a part of this I think. That's the thing that I think will become immediately apparant by the director's who walk into the room and say "I can't wait to be a part of this!"'
Looking at the list of directors Kennedy has worked with in her career, we get the following long list (please note that many directors appear multiple times in the list, but are only listed once). Steven Spielberg, Tobe Hooper, Barry Levinson, Joe Dante, Robert Zemeckis, Richard Donner, Kevin Reynolds, Don Bluth, Richard Benjamin, Matthew Robins, Gary David Goldberg, Frank Marshall, John Patrick Shanley, Phil Nibbelink & Simon Wells, Martin Scorcese, Errol Morris, Peter Bogdonovich, Stephen Gyllenhaal, Mikael Salomon, Brian Levant, Frank Oz, Clint Eastwood, Jan de Bont, Scott Hicks, M Night Shyamalan, Joe Johnston, Simon Wincer, Gary Ross, David Fincher & Wayne Kramer.
I have highlighted several names from the list above that coincide with rumored names floating around. Interesting. Most interesting. And of course, Jon Favreau has been working with Lucas and Lucasfilm for the past few years as the character of Pre Vizla on The Clone Wars TV series.
All in all, i think that a younger, and potentially more unknown director will get the job. Remember no one had really heard of Irvin Kershner or Richard Marquand prior to their Star Wars directorial debuts, either! Please check back with this article as we work our way towards the official confirmation of the director of Star Wars: Episode VII – A/The Adjective Noun!