“Star Wars” can sadly bring out the worst in people. The rumor mill has been foaming like a rabid dog this week – the obsessed fanbase so eager and desperate for details they will take the tiniest of morsels of information and eviscerate, expound, exaggerate and speculate over them endlessly and relentlessly for anything resembling a clue. Even as one fire or two has been quelled, a few more nuggets have been dropped that have started a near-feeding frenzy of rumor and 2+2=5 conjecture. This week’s Entertainment Weekly didn’t exactly help the spurious suppositions and has spurned on the rumor mill into overdrive. We’ll get to that in a second, but here’s five things we learned from this week’s EW, number #2 being the most hotly contested or blogged about “rumor” on the web right now, at least where web geeks are concerned. Plus one more intriguing morsel about one of the rumored directors for “Star Wars: Episode VII.”
1. “The Incredibles” director Brad Bird could helm Episode VII? Not so much.
There had been mention that Brad Bird would be one of several directors to simply take a look at the “Star Wars: Episode VII” treatment written by fellow Pixar scribe Michael Arndt, which struck the more discerning as simply not that notable as Bird’s ramping up his own original sci-fi film “1952,” which just scored George Clooney in the leading role. Let’s face it. A lot of top shelf directors will take a look at the treatment, but as Spielberg, J.J Abrams, Ben Affleck, Zack Snyder, Quentin Tarantino and more have said, thanks, but no thanks. However, the mere mention of “The Incredibles” and “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” director’s name in the mix as someone who would receive the Ep. 7 treatment for consideration led many to believe he was in the running for the director’s chair. Well, Bird squashed all that last night on Twitter, thankfully.
2. LucasFilm and Disney will producer 2 to 3 “Stars Wars” films per year
The Internet read this and went, “WHAT”?? with even more lathered excitement and anticipation. Originally, Disney and LucasFilm said they would begin a new “Star Wars” trilogy in 2015 with the sequels coming every other year (2017 and 2019, most likely). And so the “news” of two and three “Star Wars” films a year had fans freaking out. But slow your roll. The EW article reads as thus:
“LucasFilm’s co-chariman, and soon-to-be president, Kathleen Kennedy, has told employees she wants the company to produce to or three films a year (it’s averaged fewer than four per decade), and first up is ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ in 2015, which will pick up sometime after Darth Vader gave his life to overthrow the Emperor and save Luke in 1983’s Episode VI – ‘Return Of The Jedi.’ ”
So first off, there’s no direct quote from Kennedy and the article does not indicate whether she means ‘Star Wars’ films or LucasFilm films – i.e. one of the “fewer than four per decade” films the company has released was “Red Tails,” the WWII African-American fighter planes drama which is obviously not a ‘Star Wars’ film. And “wants to” and IS are two different things, regardless. Would LucasFilm and Disney like to pull a Marvel and release two to three films per year? Ideally, yes, we’re sure they would at some point. Will they do that before or during the lifespan of this new trilogy? Doubtful. So don’t get too excited yet.
3. Letting go could prove to be difficult for George Lucas despite insisting he’s “retired.”
You may be too young to remember or simply weren’t reading the trades or entertainment news in high school, but Entertainment Weekly also reminds us that Lucas had a difficult time handing over the reins of ‘Star Wars’ for the original sequels despite absconding the director’s chair over to other people. In the 1980s he brought on Irwin Kershner and Richard Marquand to direct “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” but remaining hands-off proved to be difficult for the ‘Star Wars’ creator. “It’s like doing King Lear with Shakespeare in the room,” Marquand said at the time. EW says, Kathleen Kennedy’s “trickiest challenge may be how best to handle Lucas…who could grow restless in his limited role of ‘creative consultant.’ ” Of course, it’s a bit of speculation on their part, but his track record shows it’s hard for him to pull away from his baby.
4. Carrie Fisher is not “confirmed” for “Episode VII” despite some reports.
The story goes like this: a fan from TheForce.Net asked Fisher whether she’d appear in “Star Wars: Episode VII,” and she responded, “I thought it was already common knowledge.” Fans went ape, but Fisher’s reps soon replied and said, sorry, nothing’s been confirmed and she was just being tongue-in-cheek to the poor fan (something she has a reputation for).
5. Lando Calrissian is returning too?
Here’s an amusing example of fanboy leaps of logic. Sites have been reporting that Billy Dee Williams, the suave Lando Calrissian from “The Empire Strikes Back” would return to the series. A TMZ staffer encountered Williams in L.A. late last week and asked him, would he do another ‘Star Wars’ film? The answer: “I suppose so.” Hell, that must mean the contract was signed months ago, right? (the headline-to-facts ratio in the TMZ article are downright amazing).
6. Did “Safety Not Guaranteed” director Colin Trevorrow already get the gig this summer?
Tervorrow’s already been one of the names in the mix and he’s already admitted he would love to direct a ‘Star Wars’ movie. But has he already met with LucasFilm this summer as the rumors suggested? Well, this quote sure makes it look like he had. Check out Trevorrow speaking in a podcast this summer about an unnamed project he could direct.
“I can’t speak with any specificity as to what the next thing will be. There are amazing opportunities that have arisen as a result of this. One of them, I will say, will probably create a good deal of ire against me on the Internet when people find out what it is. So, I just want to say in advance that I promise you, for all those who love the mythology that I will be tackling, trust that I love it as much as you do. And I will respect it, and hopefully make it not suck.”
Doesn’t that sound like someone who is already involved in a project? Though to what capacity remains unclear.