Zack Snyder Developing a Stand-Alone ‘Star Wars’ Jedi Movie [Updated]

Published 2 years ago by , Updated January 15th, 2013 at 10:43 am,

Zack Snyder Star Wars Samurai Movie Zack Snyder Developing a Stand Alone Star Wars Jedi Movie [Updated]

[UPDATE: Reps for Zack Snyder are denying that the director is currently attached to any Star Wars projects. Vulture reiterates that Snyder flew out the meet Lucasfilm reps. Scroll down for more.]

Get ready for slow-motion Star Wars action – as fan-favorite director Zack Snyder is reportedly prepping a standalone “Samurai” film set in the galaxy far, far away. The Man of Steel helmer is currently busy polishing up Superman’s next onscreen appearance for Warner Bros. and many comic books fans had hoped/speculated that the director might stick around the DC camp in order to shoot the highly anticipated Justice League film (set for release in 2015).

For now, it’s too early to say whether or not Snyder will eventually be announced as the director of Justice League but, regardless, the new report suggests that Disney is interested in snagging the filmmaker’s talents for a future Jedi project – specifically a Seven Samurai-like adventure set in the Star Wars universe.

The report comes from Vulture who asserts that Snyder’s Star Wars entry will be a standalone project not a “numbered” trilogy entry (meaning it’s not episode 7, 8, or 9). Details are very scarce at this point but there are a few things we do know – assuming that Vulture’s information is accurate (and doesn’t change as development ramps up).

  • As mentioned, the film is expected to be a stand-alone story set in the Star Wars universe and NOT a trilogy entry.
  • The Samurai Story will take place after Episode VI and likely tell a story that occurs in the same timeframe as Episodes VII, VIII, and IX.
  • The setup is loosely based on Seven Samurai, the 1954 classic from Akira Kurosawa.

There’s no chance that the film will arrive before Episode 7 in 2015 – which will be the official launch point for Disney’s Star Wars entries. Considering the mouse house intends to release one Star Wars movie every two or three years, Snyder’s movie would launch in 2017 or later – and serve as the first non-trilogy film set between core “numbered” episodes. For that reason, as mentioned earlier, there’s still a chance that Snyder could secretly be in line to helm DC’s Justice League movie, dependent on the performance of Man of Steel. It’s also worth noting that just because Snyder is developing the film, he isn’t necessarily locked to direct – though it’s hard to imagine he’d pass the movie off to someone else.

Seven Samurai Movie Zack Snyder Developing a Stand Alone Star Wars Jedi Movie [Updated]

For anyone who hasn’t seen Seven Samurai (note: you should), the basic set-up centers around a town that is regularly looted by bandits. Unable to defend their homes and belongings, the villagers hire seven masterless samurai to protect the village from a scheduled return for the robbers – who plan to raid the town following the harvest. Six years after the film’s release, Hollywood put its own twist on the format with The Magnificent Seven – a gunslinger western.

It’s unlikely that Snyder intends to simply swap out samurais and kitanas for jedis and lightsabers but there’s obvious ways to make the story concept work in the Star Wars universe. In fact, Star Wars: The Clone Wars viewers have seen Lucasfilm explore similar plotlines before – as early as season 1 in the episode “Defenders of Peace” and most notably the season 2 episode “Bounty Hunters” (which features four bounty hunters and three Jedi defending farmers from pirates). Obviously, The Clone Wars is set in the time frame between Episodes 2 and 3 and presented in a CGI animated format but even on the small screen Jedis banding together in defense of less capable innocents is still immensely satisfying.

At this point, since we know very little about the overarching direction of the post-Episode 6 Star Wars movie universe story, it’s hard to speculate on the events that will lead to a band of Jedis defending a helpless town from evildoers – especially since the film may not be connected to the upcoming trilogy at all.

3002 Zack Snyder Developing a Stand Alone Star Wars Jedi Movie [Updated]

That said, Snyder saw great success with a comparable concept: 300 – where a small band of spartans face the massive and well-equipped Persian army in the Battle of Thermopylae. The movie put the director on the map, thanks to slick visuals and exciting choreography. As a result, it’s easy to imagine a more mature Snyder (the one who filmed Man of Steel not Sucker Punch), paired with the blockbuster-producing resources of Disney, could deliver a rich and entertaining stand-alone Star Wars adventure. We’ll know soon enough how the director handled the super-powered Man of Steel but a combination of slick Seven Samurai and 300-like lightsaber choreography paired with visually stunning “force” powers could be a good match for Snyder’s moviemaking strengths.

There are plenty of complaints that can be leveled against the Star Wars prequels but there’s no denying that watching fully-trained Jedis fighting in their prime was a lot of fun. Not everyone is a fan of Snyder, and for understandable reason, but there’s room to be cautiously optimistic that he could deliver the most exciting big screen Star Wars entry since the 1983 release of Return of the Jedi.

[Update 1: The Obligatory Denial]

The Hollywood Reporter has received word from Zack Snyder’s PR reps who claim the director is not developing a stand-alone Star Wars film (or any other Star Wars film – including Episode 7, 8, or 9):

“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.”

At this point, Snyder’s team could simply be denying involvement – in order to prevent an unannounced project from stealing Man of Steel and the 300 sequel attention. Still, it’s likely that the Vulture report (or at least elements of the report) is false. Maybe Lucasfilm is interested in a Seven Samurai-style Jedi movie and wants Snyder for the director’s chair – or maybe there is no film at all. We’ll just have to wait and see whether or not this is the last we hear about the project.

[Update 2: Vulture Provides More Details, Sticks To Their Guns]

Vulture responded to THR’s sharing of Snyder’s PR denials, offering a few more details to add authenticity to their scoop. They say “Snyder recently flew up to Marin County to meet with Lucasfilm” and highlight the need for secrecy from Snyder’s camp due to his current obligations with Warner Bros.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for more on Star Wars as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

Star Wars Episode 7 is set for release in 2015. There is currently no release date set for Zack Snyder’s Star Wars movie but we’ll keep you updated as official information breaks.

Source: Vulture

Follow Ben Kendrick on Twitter @benkendrick
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. Why can’t we have a Star Wars movie that’s not set in the timeline of the current films. Why does everything have to be associated with the current films. The Knights of the Old Republic is awesome why not that era?

    • Only gamers even know what KOTR is so to set something in that era is just silly. Everyone, however, wants to see what happens after ROTJ.

    • Very true. Is nice to know I am not the only only one who thinks that way. Knights of the Old republic is great story because there is a lot of history regarding the Sith and Jedi. They can even do the story of Darth Bane or Xendor- the first Jedi that started the whole dispute with the jedi teachings

      • They’re not going over canon. Retcons are messy. That’s why the time AFTER EpVI makes sense. There’s a century where nothing is sacrosanct. Don’t get many chances to use that word. TOR games are based on player choice, which is removed in a potential film. I’d prefer for whoever ends up making these new Disney-backed films to bring something new to Star Wars instead of remaking a popular book/comic/game.

  2. Sounds like a cool idea, in theory. Seven Samurai is a story that can be adapted to other settings very effectively (Magnificent Seven, A Bug’s Life). I like the idea of some SW content focusing on *other* characters, such as this suggests. It’s alrealdy been 7.5 years since we’ve had a SW film, will be 10 by the time their is one…bring them on.

    • You forgot ‘Battle Beyond the Stars’…a Seven Samurai based film I wish I’d never seen….

      • Oh come on! ‘Battle Beyond the Stars’ is so bad it’s good! John-Boy Walton in space, what’s not to like? 😉

  3. Seven Samuarai has been remade so many times its like the go to film for exec’s who are lacking inspiration. Star Wars (the original film) was inspired by Yonjibo acoording to George Lucas so Kurasawa’s influence was there from the beginning… Even so why can’t we have a nice, tight original story that works on its own terms?

  4. I see people having doubts about Snyder because of Sucker Punch, but quickly forget movies like Watchmen. Those same doubters will taking it all back when they see Man of Steel this summer. Snyder will do justice to Superman…

    • I’ll give you “Watchmen”. I thought that movie was amazing. But I’ve yet to see anything that will convince me “Man of Steel” will be good. Nothing new is being brought to the franchise other than the film is basically Superman Begins, and even that is just copying what Batman did. I’m not saying it is a bad movie, but nothing to convince me it would be worth watching.

    • Indeed! The audience just didn’t understand Sucker Punch. What’s not to like about hot girls in school girl outfits having Ninja skills?

      • Lack of story. I’ll admit that I “like” (more of guilty pleasure) Sucker Punch, but it’s basically style over substance.

  5. Star Wars will now suffer the Pirates of the Caribbean way.

    Making movies based on pass success.

    To me, I am happy and content with Star Wars 4-6. Saw them as a kid, as teenager and I am happy with the way they turned out.

    Was so-so with Episodes 1-3.

    Have no interest in seeing anything out of the Star Wars Universe based on what people think might make a good movie.

  6. Only one remake of Seven Samurai was as good at it source material.

    The Magnificent Seven.

    • Sorry. Incorrect.

      “A Bugs Life” was great too.


  7. They can’t fool me! Snyder not being involved with “the new Star Wars” makes it sound like he isn’t doing this, but it could easily be referring to Episode VII – the only new Star Wars film on the horizon.

    Story-wise, I’m not convinced. Seven Jedi without teachers/masters? Seven Grey Jedi might be more interesting, I guess. But they’re fighting people attacking one settlement? Space pirates attacking one settlement that get beaten by seven Jedi?

    Perhaps a secret twist part-way through that the seven lightsaber-wielding badasses are Sith protecting an Imperial remnant colony or something. Now the ex bad guys are the little people being stepped on.

    Part of me would want to see a non-Jedi story. Maybe take some of the ideas from that Star Wars live action TV show that’ll never appear. Hell, make a damn Boba Fett movie, already!

  8. If Snyder is going to do a standalone then he should just do Force Unleashed. Make a Force Unleashed trilogy. Part one: Unleashed. Part two: The Return. Part three: The Rebellion. All three can explain what happened between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.

  9. are you ready to see a force choke in super super slooooowwwww motion by zack snyder. like my movie page

  10. Amazing idea! Except I’d rather see that same idea of seven Jedi defending themselves against VADER set between the two trilogies. Vader is supposed to have hunted down the Jedi yet we rarely seen it happen on film yet. Its a must film that needs making, for I fear Vader will be just a memory by the time this new trilogy happens.

    Vaders rise to power and the birth of the Empire is still the missing piece of the jigsaw!

    • Vader’s ‘”rise to power and the birth of the Empire” is explained pretty solidly, I thought. Palpatine was granted ultimate political power, through the clone troopers (who became stormtroopers) he had a massive army and Vader was a symbol of his strength. On top of that, in Episode II, Palpatine got his hands on some plans for a space station the size of a small moon…

      I know I keep going on about it, but *after* Episode VI is where the action should take place. If it’s anyone vs. Vader, you know Vader will be fine in the end because he’s there in Episode IV. If you do want to hear more about the beginnings of the Empire, the clone army becoming the Empire’s enforcers and so on, try Star Wars Battlefront II. As an added bonus, it’s a pretty fun game.

  11. “a combination of slick Seven Samurai and 300-like lightsaber choreography paired with visually stunning “force” powers ”

    OOOHHHH, that’s a serious geek-on right there…

    Can’t Wait. Instead of asking “why can’t they do this, or that?” I’m just gonna recline back and enjoy what might be…


  12. I’ll give a chance on Man of Steel simply because Chris Nolan is also involved with it. In my opinion, 300 is probably one of the worst overrated garbage from Zack Snyder that I have ever seen. The movie had cheesy dull dialogue, horrible overacting and too much slow to fast motion fight scenes. I really wish the story of 300 was given to a director like Ridley Scott. Zack Snyder was so retarded when he did 300, it is like he could not identify between Persian and Roman culture, or between Persian and Greek culture. The saturated look he likes to use in movies is over done, not to mention his overuse of slow motion.

  13. slow motion…derp….derp…..derp..shut up.

  14. well considering the prequel trilogy dealt with the old republic and the jedi order it you really can’t completely disregard a movie about the old republic. after all it did exist for thousands of years so it wouldn’t be like the prequels where you completely know how it will end.

  15. The Seven Samurai plot was the very first storyline Marvel did in their old original Star Wars comics right after the movie adaptation. Han puts together a team to fight off the gang of Serji X Arrogantus (who was very obviously based on Sergio Aragones).

  16. Zach would be a great fit. It’s about time they did a stand alone S.W. flick. And why does everybody hate on Sucker Punch? It was at least better than the S.W. prequels (and by at least I mean leaps and bounds). I always get stoked for anything this guy does. I mean, he did justice to a remake of Dawn of the Dead!

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