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Zack Snyder’s Kurosawa-Inspired ‘Star Wars’ Film Isn’t Dead After 8 Years, It’s Standalone Now

“The 11-year-old me still wants to make that," Snyder says.

Toshiro Mifune in "The Seven Samurai"

Toshiro Mifune in “The Seven Samurai”

Everett Collection

Zack Snyder was gearing up to release “Man of Steel” and Lucasfilm had recently been acquired by Disney when news broke in January 2013 the director was developing a “Star Wars” movie inspired by Akira Kurosawa. Snyder himself said at the time he did not want to direct “Star Wars: Episode VII” (this was before J.J. Abrams boarded what became “The Force Awakens”), but Vulture reported that was something of a misdirection as Snyder was “developing a Star Wars project for Lucasfilm that is set within the series’ galaxy, though parallel to the next trilogy.”

The Vulture report added about Snyder’s “Star Wars” movie: “It will be an as-yet-untitled Jedi epic loosely based on Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic ‘Seven Samurai,’ with the ronin and katana being replaced by the Force-wielding knights and their iconic lightsabers…It’s not clear just where Snyder’s untitled Jedi film would fall within the ‘Star Wars’ chronology, but one insider expects it will not be considered part of the ‘numbered’ episodes, but rather a stand-alone film set sometime post–Episode VI events, meaning the next phase of the franchise development is much broader than previously thought.”

Not a lot of updates on the project followed in the eight years since, but it turns out the project isn’t completely dead. Sort of. On this week’s episode of MTV’s “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, Snyder confirmed discussions took place between him and Lucasfilm to develop an Kurosawa-inspired “Star Wars” movie. The film would’ve been full circle, as Kurosawa films inspired George Lucas’ original “Star Wars” and Lucas even offered the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi to “Seven Samurai” star Toshiro Mifune. The project is no longer attached to “Star Wars,” but it still exists for Snyder.

“We talked about it, but it never [happened],” Snyder said. “I’ve been working on it away from the ‘Star Wars’ universe, on my own, as a sci-fi thing…It’s still a sci-fi thing. It’s the same story. Now, I’m just going to let ‘Star Wars’ be ‘Star Wars.’”

Detaching the Kurosawa-inspired movie from “Star Wars” didn’t prove difficult, as Snyder said there was no overlap in terms of characters between what he was developing at Lucasfilm and the other movies in the franchise. The director added about his isolated “Star Wars” movie, “It was me saying, ‘Give me the keys and let me take it for a spin.’”

“The 11-year-old me still wants to make that, and now, I know how to,” Snyder said about the Kurosawa-inspired movie. “So, maybe we’ll see that someday.”

Head over to the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast website to listen to Snyder’s recent interview in its entirety.

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