George Lucas has "mapped out" three new Star Wars films, according to Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger. Who will continue the saga of the Jedi and the Sith?
On Thursday, The Hollywood Reporter compiled a list of directors who could take the helm of the new Star Wars trilogy. Today, we take a look at some notable writers (in no particular order) who could offer a fresh take.
Kasdan wrote the script for the best-reviewed film in the Star Wars saga, Episode V -- The Empire Strikes Back. His script, mixed with Irving Kershner's direction, set the bar so high that any new Star Wars film will be compared to it. His last credited foray into the Star Wars universe was the video game Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire in 1996. He's still active, having written and directed this year's Darling Companion, starring Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline.
He was one of the first notable screenwriters on Twitter to chime in on the Disney sale, tweeting, "My twitter feed: 38%: 'You should write the new Star Wars!' 47%: 'Don't f***ing touch the new Star Wars!' 15%: Undecided." (He has followed with many other Star Wars-related tweets since.) He's a fan favorite, though he's lost a little street cred with his past few projects: Prometheus wasn't necessarily well received (he co-wrote it with Jon Spaihts), Cowboys & Aliens (which he co-wrote with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) bombed, and there's always that whole Lost ending. In any case, Lindelof's relationship with Disney is strong, and he's an incredibly talented writer who's more than capable of handling the intricacies and vast history required by any scribe charged with the franchise. Who knows, maybe the Force is strong with this one.
Arguably, the godfather of the "Pop Culture Star Wars Reference." Smith's acerbic dialogue in his 1994 debut Clerks, which included a memorable scene about the fate of independent contractors working on the Death Star, opened the floodgates for the off-kilter Star Wars reference. But Smith's dialogue tends to be heavy on vocabulary and lacking in brevity, so it might not work for an action feature. Instead, Smith's talents could be put to great use if Lucasfilm did a TV or web spinoff focusing on the denizens of the cantina on Tatooine. Call it The Cantina Conversations and let the more obscure characters like Ponda Baba (aka Walrus Man) and Zutton (aka Snaggletooth) wax poetic on the health benefits of blue milk or the mating habits of Jawas. Comedy gold.
At this point, Lucasfilm can give Whedon Howard the Duck and fanboys would be salivating at the chance to see it. Whedon's trademark wit would be a breath of fresh air. He's revered among geeks and is proud of that moniker, so for him to get involved in any capacity with the Star Wars franchise would be an incredible advantage. But Whedon has more than his fair share of projects lined up at Disney (the sequel to Marvel's The Avengers, the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series), so even if he wanted to put his Jedi skills to work, it probably would be awhile.
With The Walking Dead breaking ratings records, it might be the perfect time for the show's creator to branch out and turn his attention toward something not so lifeless. Kirkman already has his geek credentials, getting his start in comic books (The Walking Dead started off as such). He's a distinct new voice on the scene and carries with him an ever-growing fan base that certainly would celebrate a move toward science fiction, especially within the Star Wars universe. Bonus points: Dead Jedi tend to return as ghostly holograms.
Landis is kinetic energy personified and would provide a healthy shot of adrenaline and youthful vigor to the Star Wars mythos that many critics say were lacking in the prequels. The son of writer-director John Landis, Max has made no bones about his geek credentials. The Chronicle scribe already has a healthy thirst for science fiction and recently entered the comic book realm, penning a story in DC's Action Comics. Whether he could operate as seamlessly within the parameters of the Star Wars universe remains to be seen.
Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman
Whatever these two screenwriters touch (with very few exceptions) seems to turn to money in the bank. They're the writing team behind Michael Bay's Transformers and J.J. Abrams' Star Trek franchises. They sent Tom Cruise on Mission: Impossible III, and they're behind the sci-fi TV hit Fringe. They know how to weave high-concept stories into something a mainstream audience can appreciate. Their reboot of the Star Trek franchise was lauded as the perfect blend of a classic tale with a fresh take. Could they do to Star Wars what they did with Star Trek?
Lana & Andy Wachowski
The Wachowskis have proved they can create specific and interesting worlds, even with other people's intellectual properties (Cloud Atlas). Their success with The Matrix trilogy put them on this generation's short list of great sci-fi writer-directors. As writers, a Wachowski exploration of new realms in the Star Wars universe would, at the very least, be a fascinating take. Additionally, from a directorial point of view, witnessing a Jedi/Sith battle through the lens of the Wachowskis might be absolutely incredible.
Christopher & Jonathan Nolan
With The Dark Knight trilogy done and the Man of Steel/Superman reboot on the way, Christopher Nolan seems to be neck-deep in the DC Universe. Most of the Nolan brothers' work has been rooted in gritty reality, which is what made The Dark Knight trilogy so popular -- but perhaps would be a stretch for the Star Wars universe. They do have experience dealing with merchandising, an area Iger told investors was a priority for Disney.
A new voice on the block, Spaihts co-wrote Ridley Scott's Prometheus, which -- depending on who you ask -- was either "brilliant" or "a mess." But he's proved that he can create a universe with multi-layered characters from a known franchise. His 2007 Black List script Passengers drew high praise as an excellent space thriller but was never produced. Spaihts could be the kind of new talent the Star Wars universe needs for its new generation of fans.
It would be big, bold and brash -- and maybe just what the Star Wars franchise needs. This new trilogy presumably will continue the story of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, since Lucas reportedly conferred with Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher about making Episodes VII, VIII and IX a year ago. Han Solo with Tarantino's dialogue just might make the entire universe implode.
The wildest of wild cards but also arguably the most interesting on this list. Every Anderson film is an entirely new universe, built from scratch and yet completely palatable and unique. He might not be the perfect fit for a Star Wars feature, but give him some of the ancillary characters and let him have at it. At the very least, it would be a fun ride to hop on.