Frank Marshall Says 'Star Wars' Director Shortlist Down to Two Names
Though names like Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams have taken their names out of the running to direct Star Wars: Episode VII (along with less likely and undesired candidates like Quentin Tarantino and Zack Snyder), there's still a lot of directors left up for the job. Yesterday Safety Not Guaranteed director Colin Trevorrow became a possible candidate, and we're still big fans of anyone else on our list of ten directors for the job. However, we might get official word on a director sooner than later as producer Frank Marshall (who worked on films like Back to the Future and Raiders of the Lost Ark) says the search for a director has been narrowed down to a couple candidates, and he already knows who's taking on the saga.
When MTV asked if Marshall knew what was going on with the new Star Wars trilogy, he responded, "I do. But I can't reveal it, or I won't be alive tomorrow." However, he did say that Lucasfilm and Disney have narrowed down the search to, "a couple of candidates, but I don’t know how soon that will be revealed.” Marshall doesn't know what the timeline is for an official announcement, but if the search is narrowed down that much, either a leak or a press release will surface sooner or later. The question is what two candidates could possibly be in the running.
We've already put our hat in the ring for Brad Bird, but his 1952 project at Disney might keep him too busy unless it gets delayed. Meanwhile, Movies.com is putting their money on Joe Johnston. In the most recent video with Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas talking about the future of Star Wars, "Kennedy says they're meeting with directors they've worked with in the past, and they obviously want a lover of the franchise; someone who holds the movies and characters close to their heart. Well Johnston is both close to Lucas and the franchise (specifically the original trilogy), and he's worked with Kennedy before on Jurassic Park III. In fact, Johnston even talked to Huffington Post about the prospect of him directing saying:
“A lot would depend on what ‘it’ is. I am very glad to see LucasFilm cranking up to get productive again, regardless of who ends up doing it.”
So that's not exactly a no, but it's films like Jurassic Park III that make me hesitant to back Joe Johnston. Sure the director has delivered great action adventures on par with the style and tone of Star Wars like The Rocketeer and most recently Captain America: The First Avenger, but he also directed the abysmal remake of The Wolfman for Universal a couple years ago. If this were 1995, my childhood self would be all about Johnston though, since he directed Jumanji and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Johnston is definitely a solid choice, and knowing that Lucasfilm has met with previous collaborators, he obviously fits the bill, I just don't know if he's the best option. I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens.