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Frank Marshall Says 'Star Wars 7' Director Down To A Couple Candidates, David Cronenberg Talks 'Return Of The Jedi' Offer

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist November 13, 2012 at 6:48PM

We started our day with "Star Wars: Episode 7" tidbits, and we're closing our day with more, because that's just how it's going to go with the hugely anticipated sequel. While Matthew Vaughn and Colin Trevorrow are thus far the only names surfacing in the rumor pile to direct, helmers like Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Zack Snyder and J.J. Abrams have been quick to distance themselves from the conversation. So you might think Disney and Lucasfilm would having trouble finding someone to direct. Not so.
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Star Wars Ep 7, Frank Marshall

We started our day with "Star Wars: Episode 7" tidbits, and we're closing our day with more, because that's just how it's going to go with the hugely anticipated sequel. While Matthew Vaughn and Colin Trevorrow are thus far the only names surfacing in the rumor pile to direct, helmers like Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Zack Snyder and J.J. Abrams have been quick to distance themselves from the conversation. So you might think Disney and Lucasfilm would having trouble finding someone to direct. Not so.

Producer Frank Marshall told MTV that there are "a couple of candidates, but I don't know how soon that will be revealed" adding, "...I can't reveal it, or I won't be alive tomorrow." So what does it all mean? That perhaps like Michael Arndt's involvement with the script that started before the official sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, that discussions about the project have been happening behind closed doors for longer than fans and the public have been privy to. Sneaky stuff, George Lucas.

So, we'll have to just drift back to speculation, but one person you can count out is David Cronenberg -- because he was already offered a "Star Wars" sequel once and wasn't interested then either. "A long time ago I was approached for one second to do a 'Star Wars' movie, which at that time was called 'Revenge of the Jedi' and then it became 'Return of the Jedi,' " Cronenberg told Digital Spy. "I was approached by Lucasfilm about that and it didn't take them long to realize that maybe that wasn't a good idea."

The helmer also denies ever being offered "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" (he was reported to be on a wishlist), calling the whole thing a "Videodrome"-like experience watching rumor turn to "fact." But in general, he's not really interested in big tentpoles because of the creative limitations that filmmakers have, usually combined with no input on casting. But he does point out one time where the marriage of an auteur and a big budget property kind of worked.

"Alfonso Cuarón did one of the 'Harry Potter' movies and imposed his own visual, long take, flowing style on it and it was reasonably successful that way," he said, though once again lamenting the box that filmmakers are put into on such project. "You can see it's interesting - you have a huge budget to work with and make more money than you would normally make, but you're pretty restricted. Cuarón could only be inventive in terms of the visual style as everything else was established. How satisfying can it be?"

Well, you certainly can't fault Lucas for entertaining the notion of having some really bold choices take on his franchise. As many of you know, he also courted David Lynch for the gig and in his typically awesome way, you can listen to the director talk all about his experience meeting Lucas for the gig right here.

This article is related to: Frank Marshall, David Cronenberg, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens


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