The biggest question in our movie zeitgeist at the moment is "Who is directing Star Wars Episode VII?" Directors ranging from J.J. Abrams to Ben Affleck to Brad Bird (Mission Impossible 4) have all been nominated for the position (by fans at least), only to later come out and downplay rumors of their involvement.
Today however, we have more solid evidence (but still considered RUMOR) of a popular director possibly having landed the Episode VII director's chair: Matthew Vaughn, best known for his recent comic book films Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class.
This development came about while Website Hey You Guys! was out at the UK premiere of Seven Psychopaths and caught up with Jason Flemyng - best known for his roles in films like Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and comic book films like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and (more recently) as the red-skinned, teleporting assassin Azazel in Vaughn's First Class.
When asked about Vaughn's possible candidacy for Star Wars (after the director suddenly dropped out of X-Men: Days of Future Past) Flemyng immediately launched into discussion about whether or not his pal (they've done about nine films together, according to the actor) would find a spot for him in the new Star Wars saga. When the interviewer (who didn't quite pick up on the hint at first) then tried to confirm whether or not Vaughn had expressed interest in doing Episode VII, Flemyng quickly pulled back and (in exaggerated fashion) said "Uh... YEAH, he's 'interested!'" complete with facial expressions that could justifiably be interpreted as "Don't want to let THAT cat out of the bag too soon!"
Check out the video for yourself (Star Wars talk at 1:10):
Now, this is all just speculation and inference, of course, but it is not at all without merit. In the latest episode of our Screen Rant Podcast we went into lengthy discussion about the Episode VII director search, and we too landed on the idea of Matthew Vaughn as a leading candidate. The director dropped out of Days of Future Past supposedly to work on Kick-Ass co-creator Mark Millar's new comic book adaption, The Secret Service (according to Millar himself) - but Vaughn is known for being notoriously fickle and quick to change projects - he departed from X-Men 3, Kick-Ass 2, and Days of Future Past rather suddenly - so it wouldn't be a shock if the same thing happened here, leading him to Star Wars. After all, when Disney comes calling...
As for Vaughn's qualifications to direct Episode VII? I'll say what I said on the podcast: Vaughn is a great director, who has made some quality films (Layer Cake, First Class, Kick-Ass); he has shown that he can juggle an ensemble of characters well, is a very competent and engaging visual storyteller, and is superior to many other directors when it comes to staging exciting action sequences. With the 2007 adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Stardust, Vaughn even proved that he can create an adventure fantasy that appeals to both younger and older viewers - a seemingly perfect combination of talents for a Star Wars movie, right?
However, the one deficiency that I, personally, see is that Vaughn's films lack some of the heart that may be necessary for a quality Star Wars film. Lucas poured heart and soul into the original trilogy (which was his attempt to prove that independent filmmaking could result in industry success), and it is that element (heart) that many detractors claim is missing from the prequel trilogy, which was more concerned with splashy filmmaking techniques and less with character and story. Vaughn's films tend to be - for lack of a better word - smarmy affairs, that almost always contain a sly mocking wit to them (Kick-Ass and Layer Cake definitely - and even First Class with its winks to the absurdity of the X-Men universe). Vaughn has always seemed to be a jokester of sorts (often laughing at, not with, certain sectors of the audience) - and that is not necessarily what a Star Wars film is meant to be.
Of course, with Oscar-winning writer/director Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) handling the script, we know that Episode VII will be getting an injection of serious heart and soul from one of the best in the business right now - so there's balance there, should Vaughn end up in the director's chair. There is no safety net, however, when it comes to Vaughn working with Disney; again, the director is notoriously fickle about being able to make his own films, in his own style, and he has previously walked away when tensions with studio execs have gotten too great. As strict as Disney is about the construction of their products, the studio and Vaughn would have to be firmly on the same page for this relationship to work effectively, in my opinion.
Stay tuned, as this rumor about Matthew Vaughn directing Star Wars Episode VII will surely be confirmed - or debunked - in the near future. The movie is due in theaters in 2015.
Source: Hey You Guys!
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