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Whoa! Zack Snyder Directing 'Star Wars' Samurai Style Jedi Spin-Off?

by
January 14, 2013

Jedi Samurai

Back in November, Watchmen and 300 director Zack Snyder was one of the directors who took himself out of the running to direct Star Wars: Episode VII after news of a new trilogy was announced following Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm. However, Vulture now has word that the filmmaker will be working on a Star Wars film after all. The Man of Steel director isn't working on a film in the new trilogy, but rather on a spin-off described as a "Jedi epic loosely based on Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic Seven Samurai, with the ronin and katana being replaced by the Force-wielding knights and their iconic lightsabers." What?!

Okay, now that I've recovered from passing out, this sounds unbelievable. Could this be one of the films that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg were supposedly hired to write in late November? Part of me wonders if the pinnacle episodes of the new trilogy will be spaced out even further than the standard three years. After all, Disney CEO Bob Iger did say they wants a new Star Wars feature every two or three years, and these films could serve as padding between the new trilogy episodes. As for the chronology, it's said that this film will run parallel to the new trilogy. Either way, this spin-off sounds absolutely amazing and really shows what potentially great stories we can tell in the Star Wars universe. It actually sounds like Disney is doing with Star Wars what they currently have set up with the Marvel comic book universe.

For anyone who isn't familiar with Seven Samurai, the story is set in the 1600s, when the residents of a small Japanese village are seeking protection against repeated attacks by a band of marauding thieves. Offering mere handfuls of rice as payment, they hire seven unemployed "ronin" (masterless samurai), including a boastful swordsman (Toshiro Mifune) who is actually a farmer's son desperately seeking glory and acceptance. The samurai get acquainted with but remain distant from the villagers, knowing that their assignment may prove to be fatal. It's also been adapted into the western The Magnificent Seven.

Honestly, this is exactly the kind of thing I wanted to see come together in the wake of Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm. However, I'm a bit leery about Snyder taking it on. He has a great visual style and penchant for solid action sequences, but Man of Steel still needs to come out this summer. Of course, Sucker Punch had some solid swordplay in a samurai-style setting, and it would be interesting to see that approach with the Force and lightsabers in Snyder's action arsenal. Either way this sounds like an elegant Star Wars film for a more civilized fanbase. What do you think?

UPDATE: THR has spoken with Zack Snyder's representative and they say, "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." The rep goes on to say that includes the new trilogy or any spin-offs. Maybe they're playing hard to get, but stay tuned for any more updates.

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  • John
    Holy shit! Is this April fools early?! If it's real, Snyder is the perfect person to try Star Wars.
  • http://djkento.com/ Kento
    Star Wars did a wonderful episode of Clone Wars dedicated to Kurosawa on his birthday last year. It was fantastic, and I can't wait to see this happen.
  • http://twitter.com/NeoSlyfer D 'Dawk Lawd' West
    Someone, Hold me ('-' )
  • http://twitter.com/EdwardMCurtis Edward Curtis
    Oh, yes please. This has the potential to be awesome. Plus STAR WARS already has some Kurosawa DNA (George Lucas said the original film was inspired by THE HIDDEN FORTRESS).
  • dgeet
    I would love star wars to have a deep mythology kinda like Halo Forward onto Dawn
    • http://djkento.com/ Kento
      LOL! This has to be troll bait. There are hundreds of books, thousands of comics, dozens of video games, the tv show, the ewok movies and more. Halo wishes it had a deep mythology like Star Wars.
      • dgeet
        Well...I only watch the movies, I'm not obsessed about star wars and I was referring to going deeper into the mythology FILM wise.
        • http://djkento.com/ Kento
          That movie was awful. It was just harry potter meets halo but less interesting.
  • Xerxexx
    Hell yeah!
    • jasonsantanna
      I think it had great potential, if done right, look the last 3 movies no where near what fans wanted, but you have , to remeber there are books, comics, games and so forth that have great writing and stories behind them, so give it a try with Snyder
  • http://www.facebook.com/TheChosenPessimist Jon Odishaw
    Slow motion, violent, lightsaber battles is what the world has been waiting for.
  • Ricardo_PT
    I think Disney is forcing this too much, it may end in overkill thus making the audience tired of the franchise. I understand that the Universe of Stars Wars has the potential for many amazing stories, but what made it so special was its originality. Having a Star wars movie coming out every 2 years (meaning we would have star wars marketing throughout the year) can be too much. Having said that, this project has some potential, I like Snyder (nothing to write home about but he has a nice artistic view) but i hated Sucker Punch. It all depends on how man of steel turns out to be
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7YGEVuJ4mM Carpola
      Tired of Star Wars? Really? Nerds everywhere will never tire of star wars. NEVER. Also Star Wars wasn't that original. Clever, but not ckdjsbv aasdmn sdfn what am I even doing/.,mndj
      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Philip-Cinquegrano/100000932639147 Christopher Philip Cinquegrano
        Did you grow up in the 70's an 80's? if so you'd know there was nothing like it then, thats where the love comes from. The Effects story etc. were all ground breaking an are impressive even today. So many modern movies have ripped off from the old trilogy. If u grew up later on i understand. I'm a huge fan but my brother isn't . What movies do u apreciate?
        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7YGEVuJ4mM Carpola
          I did like the movies Christopher, but Lucas admitted he 'borrowed' a little. It's all very good that those films were groundbreaking in the 80's but this is 2013 now. I appreciate the work that went into that universe, but I think it would be better to move on, but with having a small child, I see that Disney will milk any piece of originality until the udders turns bloody.
          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Philip-Cinquegrano/100000932639147 Christopher Philip Cinquegrano
            I hear ya
          • http://www.roamandthink.com/ PBGray
            Of course they will (milk any piece of...), but that's the new normal it seems. Then someone comes out with something new and exciting, and that gets milked. I'd love to see a studio decide to take some risks and only produce original material. Maybe one day?
  • OfficialJab
    11/10, give it all the awards right now. I love this world.
  • lewinston
    Either really good or really terrible. Either way, I'm watching this movie at least 10 times.
  • http://thesolarsentinel.blogspot.com/ Alan Trehern
    A tip of the hat to whoever Photoshopped the banner pic!
  • Anonymous
    Please don't let Snyder destroy the Wars, don't get me wrong I somewhat enjoy his films but is his film style needed. Kurosawa yes - Snyder no!
  • avi
    i like this better than part 7! Zack Snyder is great in visual effects but again it depends on a good script and acting! 300 is one of my favorite movies so he can pull it of but Zack Snyder also thinks he is the new James Cameron but the fact is:nobody is James Cameron! That's why the man of steele will be great because Nolan is a watching eye!
  • mmmmmmmm
    ...Now THAT. Sounds. Fucking awesome. Can`t lie, intrigued.
  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.groves.507 Chris Groves
    Yes please.
  • Bob
    this is great!
  • lando
    I'm a bit leery about Snyder taking it on. I second and third that. Snyder has a great sense of flash but his storytelling leaves a lot to be desired. anyone doing anything in the star wars universe needs to approach it with an understanding of mythology and lore and all the classic stories.. I dont think he has that yet
  • kash
    you set me up...just to let me down, FS. tsk tsk
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Philip-Cinquegrano/100000932639147 Christopher Philip Cinquegrano
    Is this a star wars movie or an old story just being retold with lightsabers and jedi ? got me a little confused. Is it in this universe or the SW 1? I'm stupid i know lol
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Dawkins/100002207329301 Jim Dawkins
    This is actually pretty interesting considering that star wars itself was inspired by Akira Kurosawa's films.
  • http://www.roamandthink.com/ PBGray
    Huh? What? What did I miss? I just fainted. Wait... *reads article again * faints
  • Cody W
    Omg yes! HARD R LIGHTSABERAGE FUCK YESS WITH A SIDE OF AWESOME!!
  • Forcerer
    I just hope that they focus on the damn story,character development and expanding the myth further. If all they focus on is setting up the next action set piece it will become redundant and boring. I want these flicks to take a page from JJ Abrams Star Trek, where character moments are vital to the impact of the story itself.
  • staatz
    Ugh, I can't stand Snyder, at least he is doing a spin off that I can ignore.
  • David Banner
    "I didn't start it, Vulture did! Moom!" It's getting a bit boring with all these so-called-rumors about the Star Wars films being presented as truth here, only to be "updated" or edited later. 2 guys in the men's room at a Burger King talking about what would be a cool new Star Wars movie, while taking a piss; isn't a reliable source Ethan.
  • Rosalee Adams
    for a brief minute the photo caught my eye until I realized it was Tom thumb Cruise
  • nitzy
    Brilliant! Magnificent 7 jedi!!! They could do Lone Wolf and Cub as a jedi tale too. The Three Musketeers reskinned as a Jedi tale would work too. Pretty much any good sword tale could be reskinned as a Jedi movie.

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