Not so long ago, in this very galaxy, Steven Spielberg claimed that he has no interest in directing the next “Star Wars” movie . But that was before his latest string of Oscar nominations for “Lincoln,” and before his next film — the sci-fi actioner “Robopocalypse” with Chris Hemsworth and Anne Hathaway — went on hold indefinitely.
With his film slate wide open, and with the sci-fi bug presumably still in his system, there’s no better time than now for Spielberg to reconsider his “Star Wars” stance. But even if he did want to pilot the Millennium Falcon — and assuming the Lucasfilm gang would want him along for the ride — does that make him a good fit for the fan-worshipped franchise?
Here are a few of the pros and cons that would come equipped with a Spielberg-helmed “Episode VII,” with some assistance from Eric Geller with TheForce.net, and Adam Rosenberg, a journalist who has written about “Star Wars” for Rolling Stone, G4 and even right here at MTV.com.
Pro: He’s Steven Spielberg. “Star Wars” needs a heavy hitter, and there are few hitters heavier than this guy. The man has five decades of filmmaking experience under his belt, and he’s still making the kind of movies that dominate the Academy Awards. Just picture it: “Steven Spielberg’s Star Wars.” How the hell do you say no to that?
Con: He’s Steven Spielberg. Sure, he’s still making Oscar-winning movies. His recent track record with adventure films isn’t so bad, either — here’s looking at you, “Adventures of Tintin” — but it’s not easy to get the stench of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” out of the drapes. If that’s the only Spielberg available to make a “Star Wars” movie, then best to stay away.
Pro: He gels with George. Geller explains, “If Spielberg directed ’Episode VII,’ he would be able to draw on his strong relationship with George Lucas, as well as his masterful experience directing films in similar genres and of similar epic scales.”
Con: He gels with George. Rosenberg explains, “After George Lucas, Spielberg is probably the most ’Star Wars’-knowledgeable filmmaker out there. I imagine that few others have as much insight into what Lucas originally conceived for ’Star Wars’ than Spielberg. That’s not good. The most exciting thing about Disney purchasing Lucasfilm is the prospect of evolving the ’Star Wars’ franchise with some new creative energy, and Spielberg doesn’t bring that.”
Verdict: We win either way. It’s hard to hate on the idea of “Steven Spielberg’s Star Wars,” even if the threat of “Crystal Skull” levels of horror looms in the theoretical distance. But would it be wiser to bring on a filmmaker with a fresher set of eyes, someone who, as Geller puts it, “grew up with ’Star Wars'” and has “a lifelong passion for the saga”? Very likely. In short: if Spielberg and Lucasfilm make a “Star Wars” deal, it’s a win. If Spielberg continues on his own path, and we continue getting Oscar-nominated movies while getting a new “Star Wars” adventure from a different filmmaker, then it’s also a win. As Yoda once said, “Do, or do not; there is no lose” … or something like that.
Would you want Steven Spielberg directing the next “Star Wars” movie? Tell us why or why not in the comments!