Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Shared Movie Universe is currently under construction, but will become a real thing sooner than later. J.J. Abrams is currently in post-production on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in order to make a December 2015 release date; meanwhile, Gareth Edwards is gearing up to begin production this summer on Star Wars: Rogue One, the first Star Wars Anthology movie (read: the first standalone/spinoff film featuring characters who are not part of the main saga).
Looper filmmaker Rian Johnson is not doubt already at work on the screenplay for Star Wars: Episode VIII, which he will direct in 2016 for a May 2017 launch date. However, the second planned Star Wars Anthology film – heavily rumored to be a Boba Fett origin story – is currently without a director, as the former candidate (Fantastic Four movie reboot helmsman Josh Trank) recently vacated that position. However, the search for his replacement is already well underway.
It was previously reported – as part of a larger story involving Han Solo’s alleged role in the movie – that Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman: The Secret Service) and Jon Favreau (Iron Man 1&2) are on the list of potential replacements for Trank on the second Star Wars Anthology feature film. However, on this week’s episode of Meet the Movie Press (hat tip /Film), The Wrap‘s Jeff Sneider provided a fresh update on the situation, saying he’s been informed that Michelle MacLaren has met with Lucasfilm about the possibility of her taking on that job.
MacLaren was once lined up to direct the Wonder Woman live-action movie, but formally stepped away from the project in April 2015 over “creative differences.” However, as a director with experience telling grittier stories centered around antiheroes on the small screen – be they set in the modern-day world (Breaking Bad) or in a Medieval fantasy universe (Game of Thrones) – it would make sense for Lucasfilm to approach someone like MacLaren about the idea of her overseeing a Boba Fett movie (one which, no doubt, would also further explore the dark underworld of bounty hunters and criminals in the Star Wars galaxy).
Lucasfilm has so far recruited accomplished storytellers for its Star Wars movies; though MacLaren has directed primarily for television rather than film, she certainly fits that bill, too. Fellow Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor has successfully transitioned to the world of big-budget filmmaking (having called the shots on Thor: The Dark World and Terminator Genisys), so there’s no reason MacLaren can’t make the jump too. She might even stick the landing smoother, since a Boba Fett movie shouldn’t have the same creative restrictions as Taylor faced on the Thor sequel (or, alternatively, which MacLaren faced while developing Wonder Woman).
However, just as it seems Vaughn may already be moving onto other projects (like the Kingsman sequel), it’s quite possible that nothing will come of MacLaren’s meeting with Lucasfilm. Still, just as the Star Wars franchise is diversifying in terms of its acting talent – with both Force Awakens and Rogue One having put together solid casts that are relatively mixed (in terms of race and gender) – it would be nice to see the saga likewise bring in an eclectic, but equally talented, blend of filmmakers into the fold.
And again, if the second Star Wars Anthology film is indeed about the “scum” that live in the Star Wars universe, then it’s the sort of “dark hero” adventure that lies right in MacLaren’s wheelhouse.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in U.S. theaters on December 18, 2015, followed by Star Wars: Rogue One on December 16, 2016, and Star Wars: Episode VIII (subtitle TBD) on May 26th, 2017. The second Star Wars Anthology movie does not have an official release date yet.
Source: Jeff Sneider
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