It seems that the Disney-acquired Star Wars franchise has found a director...although not quite for the project we all had in mind.
Director, Zack Snyder may already have quite a bit on his plate with this summer's Superman reboot, Man of Steel, but according to a report from New York Magazine's Vulture blog, the action-oriented helmer known for 300, Watchmen and Dawn of the Dead will assume the director's chair for what will be considered a Samurai-inspired Star Wars spinoff film.
According to the report, this project will be based on Akira Kurosawa's seminal 1954 film, Seven Samurai. (Which was redone in the States as western classic, The Magnificent Seven.) The Japanese masterpiece featured a group of samurai defending helpless villagers from a ruthless gang of exploitative bandits who have come to take their misbegotten share of crucial crop. Of course, this new project, taking place in the expansive Star Wars universe, will substitute the "elegant" hum of the lightsaber for the katana and Jedi Knights for Samurai Warriors.
With no working title as of yet, what could be in store for "the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic?"
Akira Kurosawa and Star Wars is hardly a new juxtaposition as George Lucas has often cited the legendary Japanese visionary as a strong influence on the formation of the Star Wars concept. In fact, one viewing of Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress yields what is pretty much the structural blueprint for the first Star Wars film.
Speculated to be set in the upcoming sequel era, a lot of possibilities could be on tap for a Star Wars spinoff film. We may see the live-action introduction of some Expanded Universe characters, or perhaps even something that reveals the fate of the popular Ahsoka Tano from The Clone Wars animated series.
While we still await a teased announcement sometime soon on the director for the proper franchise sequel in Episode VII, this news, (should it prove true) could be indicative of a radical difference in the way the Star Wars film franchise will be handled from this point on by Disney. Once tightly-controlled by George Lucas, it seems that Mickey Mouse and Co. could be looking to expand the scope of this $4.05 billion-acquired property in ways we've never seen.
UPDATE: Zack Snyder's rep has issued a statement expressing that, while flattered at the idea, the director has NO involvement with this Star Wars project.