The future potential of Star Wars films is about as infinite as the Lucasian canon itself. After a few missteps, Disney seems to have smartened up with the galaxy far, far away and is ready to start letting filmmakers play with the franchise once again.
In the next couple of years, directors like Patty Jenkins and Taika Waititi will try their hands at Star Wars films, and that is surely only just the beginning. If the House of Mouse were smart, they would take a page from the Marvel Studio playbook, allowing talented filmmakers to come in and provide their take on what a Star Wars movie would be to them.
Over on the Marvel side, the typical superhero movie has evolved to include spy thrillers, knee-slapping comedies, and, with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness next year, even horror. So, why not do the same with Star Wars? Sure, Kathleen Kennedy and her crew can oversee each project to keep all the holocrons in order, but it’s time to open the flood gates and see where it could go.
With all that said and Disney certainly checking The Direct on a daily basis, here are seven fantastic ideas of filmmakers who should get a shot at Star Wars.
There is no feeling in movies today quite like the pure unbridled energy of an Edgar Wright film. The English director most famous for titles such as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, has one of the most unique filmmaking styles going right now. He combines quick wit with slick edits and needle drops, usually only reserved for music videos. It is this style that would make him perfect for a Star Wars movie.
The movie that would make the most sense for Wright would in essence be what Solo could have been: a rollicking fast-paced action-comedy, filled to the brim with jump cuts and a whole whack of heart.
Edgar Wright has already tried his hand in the world of IP with Scott Pilgrim and was even the original director on Ant-Man in the MCU before Peyton Reed took the helm.
On this list, Wright might be one of the most attuned to the source material and could take Star Wars into a realm it has only dipped its toes into in the past, putting forth the true first Star Wars comedy—something that could be a great deal of fun.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts is one of the most exciting young directors in movies today. While he has only been in the directing chair for two films so far, with The Kings of Summer and Kong: Skull Island, JVG is on the precipice of blowing open the IP doors.
The bearded director has long been teasing his Metal Gear Solid movie adaption and has even been tapped to take on the Gundam universe in movie form. Vogt-Roberts is a geek in the best kind of way and could do something truly special in the world of Star Wars.
Something he did wonderfully with Kong was mix monster movie sensibilities with a style reminiscent of 1970s Vietnam War dramas. With a Star Wars project, he could do the same bit of genre-mixing but with samurai and the Lucasian lore.
Star Wars’ samurai inspiration has been no secret since A New Hope first hit theaters in 1977, so why not lean into it? With a movie like this, JVG could provide essentially a Kurosawa film with laser swords and space wizards. It could maybe even take place in the newly launched High Republic era, and that sounds incredible.
This pitch isn’t going to be for everyone, but that is the beauty of something as massive as the Star Wars universe; there is room for a bit of everything. Greta Gerwig is a name that has been around Hollywood for a long time, but it has only been in recent years that she has burst onto the directing scene.
Her 2017 debut, Lady Bird, instantly implanted her as one of the biggest names to watch in the movie industry, and her follow-up, Little Women, made it certain that she was not some sort of one-hit-wonder. So, why not give her Star Wars?
Yes, it may be a little out of her wheelhouse with her past films focusing on the coming of age of a Sacramento teen and the escapades of a Civil War-era group of daughters, but it’s Gerwig’s cutting writing and incredible directing of actors that would make her Star Wars movie shine.
Coming of age is something that has yet to be touched on in Star Wars. The closest fans have gotten has been with Ahsoka in the later seasons of the Clone Wars TV show, but it’s time to go all the way.
Even if she were to require the services of a more sci-fi familiar writing partner, this movie still needs to happen. Gerwig has perfected that mix of humor and heart-wrenching adolescent pain of first loves, dreams lost, and misunderstanding parents.
So, pair that with the story of a young Jedi pulled away from their home and now trying to figure out who they are in this universe (something Rey’s story should have done better), and it sounds like magic waiting to happen.
This one is a no-brainer. Get Out director Jordan Peele needs to direct a Star Wars movie. Stand-up comic turned movie genius Peele has proven that he is the modern master of horror, and that’s a good thing considering the Star Wars project he should tackle.
A Star Wars horror movie is something that could work brilliantly. Sure, there have been scary moments in the previous films. Fans everywhere still have images of Darth Vader launching rebel troops in the final minutes of Rogue One burned into their psyche, so give audiences two hours of that.
Peele could pitch a horror story following a rebel sympathizer a couple of years after the fall of the Republic, with Imperial Inquisitors, or even worse, Vader himself hot on their tail. It would be scary, it would be Star Wars, and most importantly, it would be directed by Jordan Peele.
Sam Mendes would make what might be the most visually stunning Star Wars movie ever. A Mendes Star Wars project would basically be Skyfall in space. The 1917 and American Beauty director has become well known for telling arresting and impactful stories that are paired with visceral, jaw-dropping visuals.
Mendes has teamed up with cinematography legend Roger Deakins a few times as of late, and hopefully, that trend would continue with a film in the storied sci-fi franchise.
Mendes could take what he learned with Skyfall and pair it with the one-shot technique perfected in 1917, creating what would be a spy thriller set to the backdrop of a massive Star Wars conflict. Just ponder on that for a second.
Rogue One waded into the pool of the espionage genre, but this would be a much darker/grittier story, potentially presenting what Rogue One could have been before its infamous reshoots. Now, in this situation, Rogue One came out as an excellent movie, but think about what could have been.
This Sam Mendes Star Wars project would be one part Saving Private Ryan, another part Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and with Deakins by his side, it would be beautiful to a level never seen before in the franchise.
PHIL LORD AND CHRIS MILLER
Technically, Phil Lord and Chris Miller already had a chance at a Star Wars project. The directing duo was originally lined up to take on Solo from behind the camera before leaving the project due to “creative differences” with Disney. The pair’s departure resulted in Ron Howard taking the movie in a different direction, producing the mediocre final product fans got.
After the success of something like Into the Spiderverse, now is the time to give these two a second shot. Lord and Miller have helped redefine what an animated movie can be. First, they did it with The Lego Movie, then Spiderverse, and most recently the pair had a hand in The Mitchells vs. the Machines. These are all beautiful and unique takes on the medium.
So, why not let these two do what they do best in a Star Wars animated feature? If in the past Disney was afraid of the direction Lord and Miller might take the franchise, an animated movie would be a great place to start taking those creative risks.
If there was one piece of content to have these two be inspired by for a Star Wars project, it would have to be Genndy Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars that aired on Cartoon Network back in 2003. The oft-forgotten mini-series took Tartakovsky’s signature animated style from Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack, translating it over to a beloved IP.
The Cartoon Network series could serve as the perfect thing to mimic in a Lord and Miller project. Not to say they should emulate the style exactly, but the idea of it—the sense that you can take a franchise like Star Wars and completely turn its look on its head.
Story-wise, the duo could go anywhere. They have proven they know how to tell a dynamic, original story even while playing within the confines of an established mythos.
Lastly, the king of the potential Star Wars movie crop… Denis Villeneuve. Villeneuve has proven himself as the proverbial master of modern science fiction with hits like Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival. The projects he puts himself behind are all dense, intelligent, and sophisticated.
While the director is currently putting the finishing touches on what looks to be another sci-fi masterclass in Dune, it’s time to give this man the keys to the George Lucas kingdom.
This may sound crazy, but the best thing that Denis could do for Star Wars would be complete remakes of the prequel trilogy. Episodes I, II, and III at times tried to broach the political puzzle-box kind of filmmaking that Villeneuve has perfected; however, they got lost in selling toys, over-explaining a universe, and detailing the detriments of sand and how it gets everywhere.
There was a good story somewhere in the prequels, it would just take some rewrites from the skilled hand of someone like Denis Villeneuve to find it. It is him and only him that could unlock the political intrigue and slow story of betrayal these three movies were meant to portray.
While a Star Wars movie from the French-Canadian director doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility, an undertaking like this would certainly get shot down by Disney faster than Porkins on approach to the Death Star. But, why?
Looking at the Sicario director's resume, it is nothing but hit after hit. Going film by film, one can see that he has been working up to this his entire career. Many thought a masterpiece like Blade Runner would never be touched again, yet Denis did it and made it even better. The same could potentially be said for a prequel project from Villeneuve.
As is evident from the list above, there are so many brilliant filmmaking minds that could usher in a new era for the Star Wars name. Now are some of them a little outlandish? Yes! But so is a story about the nephew of a moisture farmer, drinking blue milk and playing with laser swords.
For a bit there, disappointment was the primary feeling of being a Star Wars fan. Well, it seems as though the clouds are starting to part, and Disney is loosening the reins on their intergalactic crown jewel.