Earlier today we had the opportunity to speak with Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnston (stay tuned for our continued coverage from the interview).
We spoke about some of the challenges inherent in creating a period piece that has futuristic elements, updating a classic character for a modern age, the possibilities for a Captain America 2 and a Johnston-helmed film adaptation of The Winter Soldier, the Bucky Barnes story – and finally, Johnston’s interest in a Boba Fett centered film.
Towards the end of our conversation I asked Johnston if his former boss and mentor, George Lucas, had seen the Captain America. The director gave us this somewhat surprising and thoroughly intriguing response:
“You know if he wants to see it, I would show it to him. I’m trying to get George to make a feature based on Boba Fett.”
When asked if he would direct the film Johnston said simply, “I would like to, it would be a lot of fun.”
Johnston began his career working as a storyboard artist for George Lucas – who recommended that the future director attend his own alma mater, USC film school, and continue to work for him. Johnston accepted the offer and went on to work for Lucas as a designer and visual effects art director on Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. He created the designs for some of the franchise’s most beloved characters and vehicles including: Yoda, the Ewoks, The Millennium Falcon, The X- and Y-Wing Fighters, The Imperial Snow Walkers, The Imperial Star Destroyer – and of course: Boba Fett.
If Captain America is the critical and fan success that some are anticipating it will be, will Lucas be more inclined to legitimately explore the idea of:
A) Expanding the Star Wars Universe on the big screen, and
B) Handing over the reins to another director?
Will he feel safer with his character in the hands of one of its original creators, a man who has known him since before he was a college graduate? And will a fan base that has felt burned by the franchise in recent years welcome the opportunity to revisit the world through the lens of one of the most popular supporting characters in the Star Wars universe (and a different director at the helm)?
Finally, could Johnston be the man who will bring Star Wars back to the cinemas? There are certainly a number of unanswered questions and the project is undoubtedly in a nascent stage, but the possibilities are fascinating to consider — plenty of successful films have sprung from far less fertile ground.
Captain America: The First Avenger opens this weekend beginning Friday, July 22nd.
Follow me on twitter @jrothc