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Zack Snyder was planning a Seven Samurai inspired Star Wars film

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    Vili Maunula

    Some ten years ago, director Zack Snyder was talking to Lucasfilm about a Seven Samurai inspired Star Wars film. This was before Disney bought the company.

    Apparently, Snyder is still working on the idea, although no longer within the Star Wars universe. Here’s IndieWire reporting about Snyder talking about it in a recent podcast interview.

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    Vili Maunula

    It looks like Snyder’s Star Wars / Akira Kurosawa inspired film “Rebel Moon” will ulteimately find its way to Netflix: Zack Snyder to Direct Netflix Movie Inspired by Akira Kurosawa and ‘Star Wars’.

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    Ugetsu

    I’m not a huge Snyder fan, but that sounds really interesting, especially as it looks like it could be a sort of parallel universe to the Star Wars one.

    Much as I loved Star Wars as a kid, I’ve always thought the whole ‘Rebel vs the Empire’ thing was never a rich enough universe to handle all the endless sequels and spin offs. I found it increasingly dull and I haven’t watched any of the films – original or the new versions – in years. Battlestar Galactica or Star Trek are ‘universes’ with far deeper and richer potential for long term development, even if Star Trek seems to have run out of steam. So maybe Snyder is onto something if he has decided to go back to basics using Kurosawa’s films as a template.

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    Vili Maunula

    I’ve always thought the whole ‘Rebel vs the Empire’ thing was never a rich enough universe to handle all the endless sequels and spin offs

    I’m not a big Star Wars fan either. Or a Zack Snyder fan for that matter. Although I did like his adaptation of Watchmen, which I really like as a comic book.

    But I actually thought that the second film in the new Star Wars trilogy (episode VIII) kind of almost went to interesting directions when for a fleeting moment, it seemed to question the simplistic conflict between the light vs dark side that carries the films. But as soon as it had put that thought out, it pretty much instantly backed off from the idea, and the film that followed seemed to make extra sure that no such nonsense is allowed.

    I also had a similar feeling while watching Rogue One, the first stand-alone film from Disney’s Star Wars productions. For a moment there, it seemed to challenge the question of who the good guys are, by pretty much making the heroes’ actions look like the actions of anti-US insurgencies in the middle east. But again, the film didn’t dare to actually commit to that idea.

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    lawless

    I watched, and enjoyed, the first three Star Wars movies when they came out. I watched the next three because my daughter was young and wanted to see them. She dressed up as Padme for Halloween one year and we took her and her friends to one of them, and then to a nearby restaurant, for one of her birthdays. I had no interest in seeing the next three.

    I agree with both of you that the SW universe is too simplistic to support an expansive universe, but I suspect that’s largely colored by what one wants out of a film. Some people prefer simplistic storytelling coupled with awesome effects and some level of imagination in creating a SFF environment over something more nuanced and thoughtful.

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    chomei

    Lawlless, had much the same experience with Star Wars as you did but I saw the last 3 and found them pretty awful so you saved both time and money.

    To expand the SW universe you have to continually change it and it will eventually no longer be SW in any real sense and people will lose interest and your franchise becomes worthless. So you keep pushing the same tired ideas and hope people don’t lose interest.

    There is a lack of originality in Hollywood but that’s just my view. As for nuance there is probably less.

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    Vili Maunula

    It’s interesting though that while the new trilogy appears to have nothing new to say or show whatsoever, the Star Wars universe has been quite successfully expanded outside of the core films. While I haven’t watched them personally, I hear that the recent TV series (the older animated one and the new Mandalorian) are pretty decent works.

    From a more personal experience, I really loved the two Knights of the Old Republic video games that came out in the 2000s. Even if the Star Wars universe is generally not my cup of tea, those two games left a lasting impression on me and I consider them some of the best narrative games that I have ever played. The first in the series is sort of a deeper exploration of the Star Wars world and mythology, whereas you could say that the second game (The Sith Lords) is pretty much a total deconstruction of Star Wars. It subverts many of the building blocks of Star Wars by effectively pulling apart the hero’s journey monomyth and by seriously questioning the light/dark dualism and the Jedi philosophy presented in Star Wars. Still, rather than doing this by attacking Star Wars or laughing at it, it does it by fully embracing it, lovingly building on and investigating the world in which it exists.

    These I think suggest that there is much more to explore in the Star Wars universe and in its philosophy than what the recent films have been doing. And as Star Wars has been such a core part of the global entertainment landscape in the last 40 years, any such exploration would also almost automatically function as an analysis of our world and reality as well.

    Now, whether Disney is willing to let the core film series grow into anything more than a pastiche of earlier Star Wars properties remains to be seen. After all, I don’t think that their aim with the films is to make good cinema or even tell proper stories. They are more or less just two hour long ads for the brand. As a result, perhaps the only possible place for any potentially interesting content is elsewhere, in the more niche releases rather than in the flag carriers.

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    lawless

    Chomei, I agree with you about the lack of originality. It’s not that there aren’t filmmakers with imagination but that the studios are risk averse.

    I have also heard good things about the Mandalorian.

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