Zack Snyder Developing STAR WARS Spin-Off Film Based on Akira Kurosawa’s SEVEN SAMURAI [Updated]

     January 14, 2013


Back in November, we reported that Zack Snyder wouldn’t be directing Star Wars: Episode VII.  This remains true, but Vulture is now reporting the surprising news that Snyder will be involved in the upcoming Star Wars universe with a spin-off feature.  As we previously reported, screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg were working on scripts that could be part of the upcoming sequel trilogy or they could be spin-off features.  Episode VII is due out in 2015, and Disney CEO Bob Iger has said he wants a new Star Wars movie ever 2-3 years.

Hit the jump for more on Zack Snyder’s upcoming Star Wars film. [Update: Snyder's reps have released a statement denying this story. Read the statement after the jump]

seven_samurai_movie_image_05According to Vulture, Snyder is developing a Star Wars film that will take place after Episode VI and run parallel to the upcoming trilogy, so it doesn’t seem like it will be a “bridge” movie, although it could provide material for other Star Wars chapters.  But that’s getting ahead of ourselves.

Right now, we know that the plot will be loosely based on one of the greatest films of all time, Akira Kurosawa‘s 1954 masterpiece, Seven Samurai.  So that’s not a bad place to start.  For those unfamiliar with the plot, it involves a group of ronin being hired by a defenseless village to help fend off bandits.  The film has been adapted numerous times over the years including the western The Magnificent Seven and Pixar’s A Bug’s LifeGeorge Lucas has cited Seven Samurai as one of his all-time favorite movies, telling the Telegraph in 2005 “it’s a brilliant, brilliant film, and every time I see it I can’t believe the magic mixture of a great story and great acting and humour and action and suspense — wonderful cinema. The art of moving pictures is on every frame of this movie.”

What I find curious about this adaptation is that it takes place after Episode VI, but at the end of that movie, I don’t know how many Jedi are left in the galaxy (I always assumed two: Luke and Leia).  Presumably, the new trilogy has to have enough distance from Return of the Jedi so that at least six new Jedi can populate the galaxy, and then you can have a pretender Jedi join them.

Filming on Snyder’s movie is set to begin after Disney gets to work on Star Wars: Episode VII.  It’s worth noting that Vulture’s story only says Snyder is “developing” a Star Wars spin-off.  He is not officially attached to direct at this point.

Click here for all of our Star Wars news.

Update: Snyder’s reps have released a statement denying that he’s involved with any of the Star Wars films, including the spinoffs, though I wouldn’t take this as absolute confirmation that the story is completely false. Read the statement below via Heat Vision:

“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.


Around The Web
  • Chad

    Let’s start mining all the classic for future Star Wars spin-off films. Can’t wait to see Star Wars 14 based off Jacques Tati’s Trafic. Or maybe The 400 Blows. Or how about Keaton’s The General?

    • Supafresh

      What movie isn’t based off an older piece of work these days, though?

      • Chad

        Really? Using archetypes is one thing, but borrowing whole plots is another.

    • Scullibundo

      Yeah, good point Chad. Next they’ll try and mine Kurosawa’s HIDDEN FORTRESS and set it inside the STAR WARS universe. Oh wait, that’s what gave us the very first STAR WARS film.

    • Grimcicle

      Citizen Vader?

    • SloppyJ30

      I fail to see the problem . . “Seven Samurai” isn’t a very plot-heavy film. All you’d need to do is base a film on the idea that a bunch of Jedi band together with a wacky outsider wannabe to defend some defenseless folk by fighting off marauding hordes. They could take that a lot of ways. Let’s be real; nearly every movie released these days can reasonably be framed as being “inspired by” other films. Requiring every film to be completely, utterly original is an unfair, unattainable standard.

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  • Eric

    I don’t wish to live in a world where zack snyder and akira kurosawa are mentioned in the same article.

    • chad vaughn

      Then I guess you need to kill yourself cause it just occurred.

    • SloppyJ30

      Check. Your status as an overbearing, insufferable film snob has been confirmed. I applaud your willingness to go out on a limb by asserting that Zack Snyder hasn’t obtained “all-time legend” status. Courage, thy screen name be “Eric.”

  • Bob

    Well, Man of Steel will be a true judgement if I’m really gonna be looking foward to this. I can say Im really looking foward to Man of Steeln though. Snyder has some goood under his belt(300), some decent(Dawn of the Dead, Watchmen), and some horrible(but awesome effects, Sucker Punch).

    I’m am looking foward to seeing the Star Wars universe expand though. I’m so excited to see this happen. Still rooting for David Fincher to direct the actual Episode 7. If not then Matthew Vaughn will be fine, and I predict he will have his breakout movie with this.

    Jedi Ideas:

    Jake Gyllenhaal
    Idris Elba
    Michael Fassbender
    Jeff Bridges
    Vin Diesel(he’ll be like some strong af, but kind of reckless I guess Jedi)(Could also be evil, on the Sith’s side as an apprentice)
    Lucy Liu
    Cloe Grace Moretz(as a Padawon)

    • bubba

      Mr. T

    • Hector Navarro

      such a fanboy list

      • Bob

        It may be a “fanboy” list but I would still love to see Fassbender as a Jedi. Elba as well. Their both great actors……And Cloe Grace Moretz as a Padawan. Come on, thats just so perfect its insane. Besides Hit-Girl she seems born for this role. And Lucy Liu seems like she would be a great Jedi as well, no? Do you not agree with me? I would like to hear other peoples opinions as well on who should pick up a lightsaber.

        As for Vin Diesel I could see him as like an assassin/bounty hunter. Or a Darth Maul type character. Just don’t let him act to much lol. Though, he’s not as bad as an actor as some people say

      • bubba

        I prefered the old school Jedi who were zen and stately, who werent constantly amped up like chihuahas on meth doing super human feats. In my mind’s eye I see the Jedi of the prequels taking dumps while doing handstands seeing if they can “make a basket”.

  • Ned

    Sounds kinda cool. I think a lot of people are picturing a shot for shot remake, when they might just be using 7S as a jumping off point of inspiration. A Jedi team on a mission, what’s not to like?

  • Sean

    Is there any confirmation on this? This feels like rumor mill.


    Amazing news if true!!!
    Could it be set around the first ever Jedi/Sith? I sawthat a novel is coming out based on that.

    Or maybe its am inbetween film (eps 3 and 4) where we see Vader huntind down a group of Jedi that make a stand? Soooo much potential!

    As for much of the EU (books) Yes some of them have some cool ideas in them, but some horrible and ridiculous things in them too. ie.. Thrawn =yes! Clones of Luke, Palpatine etc..+ NO! Just start afresh with ep7. Let new stories and books come out based on them!

  • Peter

    …this is blasphemy,this is madness: THIS IS STAR WARS!!!!!!!!!!!

    • bubba

      Considering that the original Star Wars movie was a remake of Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress, I hardly consider that blasphemous. I would say they are going back to SW’s true roots. Regarding Snyder I dont really know what to say. I liked Watchmen and for the most part the Dawn of the Dead remake. Ill be keeping an open mind which I havent had since I walked out of that midnight showing of Phantom Menace so long ago.

  • Lance

    This news only makes sense to me if Snyder mostly just directs the film. Why you hire Snyder to develop a project (he’s not that strong in developing original material, as Sucker Punch is proof of, and why they had Christopher Nolan backstop him on Superman) that he’s not going to direct?

    On the other hand, assuming Kathleen Kennedy and everyone else at Disney/Lucasfilm basically control how the script turns out, then Snyder might be just fine as a director for a Star Wars movie.

  • No Khan

    Cool I like this idea but it should be set in the Old Republic era. That way its before the Rule of Two & many Sith could be the villains.

  • Strong Enough

    Seven Jedis versus a massive army with just light sabers to defend them?

    I smell a shitload of greenscreens!!!

  • Slice

    Prepare for 2 hours of Jedi slow motion.

  • Kaluha

    I like the roster proposed by poster Bob. My take on it:

    Jake “I am a Cub Scout” Gyllenhaal as the new, annoying, idealistic Jedi
    Michael Fassbender as the cynical-but-cool, Han Solo-esque Jedi
    Idris Elba as the Senior Jedi
    Ray Winstone as the gruff sailor Jedi (I am not getting paid enough for this shit!)
    Hiroyuki Sanada as the quiet Samurai Jedi with “special” skill
    Ray Stevenson as the hulking giant Jedi
    Harrison Ford as the old, drunken has-been Jedi who fights with a set of drunken Jedi moves
    Ok, the that one is not a good idea…
    Justin Long as the wild card, smart-ass Jedi

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