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. Horrible news.

    • LOL. Very succinct.

      And you have nothing to worry about.

  2. Wow, Disney is going to milk Star Wars til there’s nothing left (and no, I’m not surprised).

  3. While Snyder wouldn’t be my top choice, making a star wars film inspired by the film that inspired Star Wars sounds fantastic.

    I do hope they don’t make all seven heroes Jedi and throw in a couple smugglers, bounty hunters or a farmer. Other than that, great news.

    • Actually Star Wars was influenced by Hidden Fortess. Directed by the same guy tho.

      I’m pretty stoked for this. Seven Samurai is one of my favorites films.

      • Whilst true that ‘Star Wars’ (the 1977 film itself) was more than a little influenced by Kurosawa, the upcoming new trilogy should, in my humble opinion, be more influenced by Sergio Leone… a new Republic being built and a new Jedi order assembled to bring peace and justice back to a lawless galaxy following the implosion of the Empire!

        • Great idea @Northern Star

  4. Interesting. Keeping an eye on this.

  5. this is the most awesome news in recent memory

  6. IMHO I don’t think snyder gets the respect he deserves. Sure, he can be a bit outside the mainstream but I think it helps with diversifying the movie-going experience. That said…provided there’s a solid script I’d be interested in seeing his approach to a star wars flick. i’m cautiously optimistic.

    • I think that as long as he’s not writing the script (or isn’t the only one doing it) then we can expect some pretty decent work from, especially in terms of visual aesthetic.

      This sounds like a cool idea, really. I mean, I don’t want a Seven Samurai remake with just stuff like the location and characters substituted. But the idea of standalone stories about Jedi ronin could be a nice way of venturing outside the genre limitations of the main storylines we’ve been treated to. Sure, it’s milking the cow, but if it can be done well – why not? I could see concepts like a Star Wars spaghetti western or a Star Wars crime drama/gangster movie totally working :P

      • Agreed. Looks like the update says this isn’t actually true. Shame…coulda been nice!

        • Well we can hope! The possibility of standalone films also means flexibility, so even if Snyder is tied up now, he could do one later down the road…

  7. My only real problem with this is that it is set during the same period of time as VII – IX.
    Set this thousands of years before Phantom and have it during the Great Sith War. Imagine 100s of Sith vs 7 Jedi in their prime.

      • You seem to have only watched the films and played the games. There’s a heck of a lot of stuff after Eps I-VI but a huge gap between Luke’s twilight years (details of his death aren’t yet known) and his descendant’s activities a further century in the future. I think that Disney/Lucasfilm don’t want to spend time going over what’s already out there in the books, comics etc. when they can be a bit more original. The last word in the previous sentence may be wishful thinking, though.

  8. A samurai based star wars film sounds kickass.

  9. I still want a Bounty Hunter movie.
    or at least a trooper or empire agent type of deal,
    that would be pretty wicked.
    but, it would be a fresh style of the starwars genre
    to see the director of 300 do something with it.
    let’s see what he has to offer to the ordeal.
    you never know, could be good.

  10. Someone up there really loves Snyder…..

  11. This is GREAT NEWS!!!!!!! I would love to see Star Wars type characters portrayed in other kinds of genres. This is a fantastic idea with countless possibilities.

    The only people that I can see NOT liking this are hardcore Star Wars honks that “don’t want their prized Star Wars” in any other format than the one that Lucas originally laid out. Get over it. It’s a new day and it’s time to start looking at Star Wars from all possibilities and all angles. Star Wars isn’t exclusive to you, its everybodys to enjoy. If you dont like it, dont watch it, (but I bet you’ll rent it).

    There are thousands of potential stories to tell from this universe, I say let’s explore them all.

  12. I for one would LOVE to see Snyder make a Star Wars film. The visuals alone would be amazing. :)

  13. A possible reason for setting it during the VII – IX timeline would be to use characters introduced in part VII?
    Perhaps Jacen & Anakin Solo?

  14. Seven Samurai is one of the greatest movie of all time. Star Wars based on Seven Samurai? Count me in :)

  15. Don’t be silly Justin, they wont be using any of the EU material, I mean that would be a really good use of previous characters that are liked/loved by the hardcore fanbase and most likely something that others could possibly enjoy grow to like/love themselves.

    I very much doubt that will happen, I wish it would, I myself am a big fan of the books and comics that are set after Return of the Jedi and to be frank have no problem with that material being adapated and used for the new films, taking the best bits from the EU and incorperating it into the new series or one off films seems the best strategy to me personally but I can’t help but think it will never happen.
    The Prequels did make me jaded, I’m not a hater of Lucas, I just think he made mistakes, a great visionary just not good with dialog or directing.

  16. Interesting visual project, no denying that. But I don’t give a damn about movies that dont have a release date between now and sometime in 2015…..

  17. I agree with setting back well before phantom that would be amazing.. I would love to see his take on the sith war… n am I the only one who enjoyed sucker punch it wasn’t that bad n the main girl is such a hottie

  18. LOL

  19. “…the most exciting big screen Star Wars entry since the 1983 release of Return of the Jedi.”

    It’s okay, Mr Kendrick. We all make mistakes from time to time.

    Because, surely, you meant to write :

    …the most exciting big screen Star Wars entry since the 1980 release of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

    • I wasn’t about to claim that an in-development movie, which we know nothing about, would be more exciting than Return of the Jedi – which did include plenty of memorable and exciting moments.

  20. Say what???
    I know Disney wants to get all they can out of the franchise but the timing of this feels off.
    My 1st thoughts are that this seems like a sure fire sign that Disney will be following a format much like they did with Marvel properties. I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all but I’d fell better about it if we knew for sure who’s directing Episode 7 and what the concrete plans are moving forward…

  21. I don’t believe this news.

  22. Sounds like b*******

  23. Awww come on, respect to Ben, he is not going to say the most exciting big screen Star Wars entry since the 1980 release of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Hahahaha

    • Satire.

  24. By the time Disney is done there will be so many Star Wars stories you’ll wish you never heard of it.

    • Agreed

  25. I wouldn’t mind something like a re-imagining of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, it would do incredibly well because everyone knows that was the best series of all that is now Power Rangers. But don’t do realism

  26. Not surprised this isnt true.
    Weird Rumor to begin with .

    • yeah, just like Zod not being the villain in Man of Steel and Mark Whalberg not staring in Transformers 4. This is what happens when news that is leaked that a studio doesn’t want leaked…they lie.

  27. have someone kick Jar-Jar Binks into the Pit of Death :))

  28. The amount of hype around movies these days takes more time then the actual production and run of the movie. All this speculation makes for good internet stories, but until something official comes out this is all just vapor.

  29. Well that rumor didn’t last long