J.J. Abrams, Jon Favreau & Colin Trevorrow on Directing 'Star Wars'
by Ethan Anderton
November 12, 2012
It's a new week, and that means there's even more updates on the exciting revival of Star Wars in the form of a new trilogy picking up after Return of the Jedi. Since George Lucas is retiring and taking a backseat in the universe he created 35 years ago, the search is on for a new blood to continue the saga. Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt has already turned in a 40-50 page treatment (apparently for the whole trilogy) and has been said to script Episode VII, so next is finding a director. Now fan favorites J.J. Abrams and Jon Favreau talk about their potential involvement, and rising director Colin Trevorrow, who helmed the Sundance favorite Safety Not Guaranteed, seems to be in the running also.
First off, let's scratch one big name director off the list. Last week Steven Spielberg took himself out of the running along with less likely candidates Zack Snyder and Quentin Tarantino, and now a director who has been influenced greatly by his work is also stepping out of the running. J.J Abrams talked to Hollywood Life about the prospect of taking on Star Wars after successfully rebooting Star Trek in 2009 with the sequel Star Trek Into Darkness coming next summer. Here's what Abrams had to say about taking on another iconic franchise like Star Wars:
“Look, Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time. I frankly feel that – I almost feel that, in a weird way, the opportunity for whomever it is to direct that movie, it comes with the burden of being that kind of iconic movie and series. I was never a big 'Star Trek' fan growing up, so for me, working on 'Star Trek' didn’t have any of that, you know, almost fatal sacrilege, and so, 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!”
So there you have it. But what about another big Star Wars fan? Jon Favreau also made our list and has been mentioned by several other outlets as a decent and maybe likely choice. Favreau is a very passionate Star Wars fan and even voices a character on the "Clone Wars" animated series. So does the director of Iron Man maybe have Star Wars in his future? Here's what he said:
"I think both J.J. and I come from a generation of people who formed our whole creative persona around what we experienced as kids from watching those films, and I have had the good fortune of working with George [Lucas] and around George, and whether it is doing a voice on 'Clone Wars,' or being at the Skywalker Ranch mixing 'Iron Man' – so I have been very happy and lucky to just experience the culture that Lucas has created, both in my own life growing up as a kid and professional – whether it was interviewing him at film festivals on stage, he is just a really wonderful, talented gifted guy who has changed the business so much, so I am just giddy, first and foremost as a fan, to see what happens with it. I think there is a lot of question marks of how they are going to do it, and who they are going to do it with, and what the story is going to be about; but to say that I am not excited about it is definitely an understatement. We’ll see.”
He doesn't come right out and say he won't direct, so if he's asked, maybe he'll actually consider. But at the end, it also sounds like he's more excited as a fan, and just might want to enjoy this one from the movie theater just like Abrams. Perhaps many of the bigger more established filmmakers will follow suit and stay away from the iconic film franchise that has taken a beating after the prequels came out last decade. Maybe it's time for up and coming talent to take a swing. Enter Safety Not Guaranteed director Colin Trevorrow.
Last week his name was rumored as one of the directors being eyed for Episode VII. The rumor came from Celebuzz, so we weren't too keen on running it just yet. But MovieZine just recently sat down with Trevorrow at the Stockholm Film Festival, and the way he talks about the potential of taking on the saga is interesting. He doesn't confirm or deny his involvement, and has some interesting things to say about the future of Star Wars. To kick things off, when Trevorrow was asked whether or not he was in the running:
"It is not something that I can comment too much on. But I can definitely say, I am as much of a fan of 'Star Wars' as everyone else for whom 'Star Wars' was the most important thing in their life, when they were a kid. I'm deeply aware of how profoundly important it is, to billions of people. It really is a mythology and possibly even a belief system for a lot of people. I certainly can't comment on what my involvement may ever be, I can definitely say that I would absolutely love to direct a 'Star Wars' film at some point in my life. That would be incredible, I'm not daunted by it. Even if I understand that any thinking director who cares about it as I do, as much as a lot of directors do, would be afraid of screwing it up. But I also think that it's a risk that a lot of directors would be willing to take, because they care about it so much."
Then Trevorrow was asked about his approach to Star Wars, should he ever get the chance to direct. Specifically, MovieZine asked whether or not he would ground it in reality a lot like his indie time travel film Safety Not Guaranteed, and he gives the right answer:
"That is a very specific example of something that needs to feel consistent with the movies that came before it. That's a sequel to 'Return of the Jedi,' that's a very specific world and a specific style of filmmaking and a presentation."
But then Trevorrow has a very interesting theory about what Disney could and probably should do after this new trilogy:
"You know, they're gonna be making 'Star Wars' films for the rest of our lives. Disney saw what Marvel has done, to be able to take an universe that seemed unlimited and really prove that it's unlimited… I think there is a difference between what we're gonna see in the next three movies, that have an enormous responsibility and are iconic and are completing a story that has existed in the pop culture fabric for decades… But after that, they are gonna be some really cool and exciting 'Star Wars' universe movies. You're gonna see really bold, exciting directors, they'll do a crazy, underworld 'Star Wars' movie and all kinds of stuff. And I'm excited to watch all those movies."
We're pretty excited about the prospect of a new direction for Star Wars as well, and honestly, Trevorrow was a name that we didn't think of, because we weren't sure Disney would trust a lesser known name like that. The original rumor said Trevorrow met with Lucas a few months ago at Lucasfilm because the director loved Safety Not Guaranteed so much. Lucas has already said he won't be responsible for choosing the director, but that doesn't mean Kathleen Kennedy won't listen if he happens to suggest a name or expressed interest in one before. Either way, this is all very exciting so stay tuned for more. Thoughts?