When it was first announced that Disney was purchasing LucasFilm and a new batch of Star Wars films were being produced, one of the first questions on everyone’s mind was “how is George Lucas going to ruin these movies too?” A large amount of uneasiness was put to rest when Lucas made clear that he was essentially handing the keys of the franchise over to new LucasFilm head Kathleen Kennedy and he’d only be involved with the new films in a “consultant” role.
We know that the upcoming trilogy is based on story treatments and characters that Lucas himself drummed up, but many wondered just how involved Lucas would be with episodes VII, VIII, and IX as a so-called consultant. Would he be looking over the shoulder of the new director every day of production? Is he expecting the new screenwriters to strictly follow his own story beats and characters? Now Lucas himself has come forward to clarify just how involved he’ll be, and it’s fairly encouraging stuff. Hit the jump for more, including Lucas’ thoughts on the possibility of Steven Spielberg directing one of the new films.
Speaking with Access Hollywood, Lucas explained what his involvement with the new Star Wars films will be:
“[If the filmmakers ask],‘Who’s this guy?’ I can tell them. I mean, they have a hundred encyclopedias and things, but I actually know a lot. I can say, ‘This is this and this is that.’ Basically I’m not — I don’t really have much to do.”
So according to Lucas, his role on the new Star Wars will be “Living Character Guide.” Michael Arndt is busy writing the screenplay for Episode VII, and I sincerely hope he’s being given the creative freedom to stray from Lucas’ treatments when he sees fit. In the series of video discussions between Lucas and Kennedy that have been released since that first announcement, Lucas really does seem to be okay with letting the series go. Though fans have been burned by Lucas plenty of times before, I think the franchise is in safe hands with Kennedy leading the charge.
The producer also took a moment to address those rumors that Lucas’ buddy Steven Spielberg was being considered to take the helm of the new Star Wars film. Spielberg himself has already flat-out denied having any interest in directing the pic, and Lucas reiterates that point:
“I’m pretty sure he’d never want to do that!” he laughed. “I don’t think he’d want to.”
As for who will be directing Episode VII, the rumor mill kicked up again late last week by adding that David Fincher and Jon Favreau are also a part of the conversation. With the film expected to hit theaters in 2015, I imagine we’ll hear solid word on the director front fairly soon.