Vulture reports that the helmer, who has also made 300, Watchmen and Sucker Punch, is "developing a Star Wars project for Lucasfilm that is set within the series’ galaxy, though parallel to the next trilogy. 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." (Edit: Of course, Lucas' original film was inspired by Kurosawa’s work as well, while a Clone Wars episode in 2010 was inspired by Seven Samurai.)
No word yet on where the film would take place in the Star Wars timeline, though Vulture's sources indicate it will probably not be a "numbered" episode and rather will be a standalone film set sometime after Return of the Jedi.
UPDATE: Director Zack Snyder has come forward to deny a report claiming he's journeying to a galaxy far, far away.
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New York magazine's Vulture blog reported Monday that Snyder, the director behind 300, Watchmen and the upcoming Man of Steel, was developing a Star Wars movie. According to the site, the feature would not be part of the planned numbered trilogy but would be an off-shoot tonally in the vein of the Japanese classic The Seven Samurai.
But in an exclusive statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Snyder's spokesperson says: "While he is super flattered because he is a huge fan, Zack is not involved in any way with the new Star Wars. He is currently in post on his two films, Man of Steel and 300: Battle of Artemisia.”
That means no Episode VII, VIII or IX, and no offshoot movies, the rep confirms.
The idea of Snyder tackling a Star Wars project isn’t far-fetched. Lucasfilm is currently on the hunt for a filmmaker or two to tackle the final trilogy, which is in the process of being written by Michael Arndt. Directors ranging from J.J. Abrams to Jon Favreau to Matthew Vaughan have surfaced as possible (or dream) contenders.
And as THR previously revealed, the company is developing movies that would expand the Star Wars universe in off-shoot one-shots or trilogies. Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote 1981's Empire Strikes Back, and Simon Kinberg, a veteran of X-Men: First Class, are two writers penning stories that veer off the numbered movies.
Snyder, whose Cruel and Unusual Films is based at Warner Bros., is already busy with his own projects. In active development on his slate is the war drama The Last Photograph.