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Who should direct ‘Star Wars Episode VII’?

Lots of names are being bandied about, but who do you want to see get the job?

Something that many never thought would ever happen is going on in Hollywood right now. Yes, ‘Star Wars Episode VII’ is in pre-production, and it’s not even being fully brought to us by George Lucas. We’re all aware by now that Oscar winner Michael Arndt has been hired to pen the script, and filmmakers like Colin Trevorrow and Matthew Vaughn have been rumored to be taking the directing job. Of course, A-listers like J.J. Abrams, Zach Snyder, Steven Spielberg, and Quentin Tarantino have already pretty much said no, while people like David Fincher and Christopher Nolan aren’t really even worth seriously discussing. That got me thinking though…who else would get people excited? I know Brad Bird is a popular name, but I wanted to get the input of the community here at The Awards Circuit. I’ll be sharing seven names that I’d be interested in seeing get the gig (not including Matt Reeves, who I always put in pieces like this and decided to take a short break from), but I’m just as interested in getting your names as I am in sharing mine. We’re likely not too far out from finding out who the directing choice of Disney is, so before long we’ll know the director of a new Star Wars movie! Until then, here are my picks for filmmakers who could do a good job with the new trilogy…

Jon Favreau– Not only is he one of my very favorite choices for the role, he’s perhaps the most realistic option as well. Between ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Zathura’ he’s shown an aptitude for capturing one’s imagination, and he’d certainly be the sort of pick that allows a fan to step in and direct what may very well be their dream project. Favreau’s been in a mild slump of late, but if anything could get him out of it, it’s the chance to direct a Star Wars movie. I can’t imagine there won’t be talks with him about Episode VII, but we’ll see if he winds up with the gig. I think he’s definitely in play in a big way. I can’t imagine Disney would rather him continue work on ‘Magic Kingdom’ than take over the Star Wars franchise for at least one part of the new trilogy.

Drew Goddard– This pick may be a bit far-fetched, but he’s just the sort of creative and deserving young filmmaker that could really do wonders for the franchise. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of ‘The Cabin in the Woods’, but considering he’s working on ‘Robopocolypse’ with Steven Spielberg, he’s certainly capable of dealing with higher level stuff. I don’t expect Goddard to be selected, but if I had control of things I’d at least bring him in for a chat. There’s certainly nothing to lose, and quite a bit potentially to gain.

Joe Johnston– Here’s someone with a real strong tie to Star Wars already, so that’s got to work in his favor. I’ve seen a few people mention him as their choice to take the helm, but there’s been no official talks yet. Johnston got his start working on the effects for the original franchise, so it might be a perfect bit of fate to have him come on and bridge the gap in visuals between the old and new trilogies, not to mention the prequels. Johnston is likely to at least be under consideration, if not something more serious than that. His recent work on ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ can’t hurt either, that’s for sure.

Duncan Jones– My top choice for the job, Jones has already made his mark with a pair of very original science fiction films. It’s questionable whether he’d even be interested in this type of project, but considering he was pursued somewhat for the ‘Man of Steel’ job, I’m sure he’s on the minds of at least a few decision makers. If anyone at Disney asks me (which they won’t, but I’ll still mention it to them somehow) what I think, I’d urge them to do whatever it takes to land Jones for the director’s chair. My heart would leap if he got the job. It may be a bit of a longer shot than some, but I’m crossing my fingers and toes for Duncan!

Mark Romanek– If you want an incredible looking film, here’s your guy, plain and simple. Just look at ‘Never Let Me Go’ for proof of this. He’s dealt with sci-fi before, and just feels like the type of filmmaker that the producers should be looking at for the job. Romanek has a style that’s very distinctive, but not in a way that would prevent him from making an effective Star Wars film. This is another selection that would cause me to do backflips. I won’t hold my breath, but I don’t think he’s a huge long shot or anything. Keep one eye on Romanek for the job as things move forward.

Andrew Stanton– In many ways Stanton has already tried to make a Star Wars film with the misfire that was ‘John Carter’. That movie may not be the one to have in people’s minds, but Stanton is familiar to Disney and certainly would put everything he’s got into the gig. Brad Bird is obviously the more popular Pixar alumni so far in terms of fan sentiment, but I think Stanton could be just as good as Bird, if not perhaps even a little bit better. ‘John Carter’ could have ruined his chances, but I sure hope not. Time will tell though. He’s still on my list…

Josh Trank– Another young and hungry talent, Trank has creativity to burn and could definitely do a lot with the franchise. I was tempted to pick Edgar Wright, but I think they want someone a bit more serious for the job. Trank would be a great pick in that case, as he’s clearly on the way up with his career. I’m not sure what the reaction would be to him getting the tap on the shoulder, but I wouldn’t mind one bit, obviously. Trank could knock a Star Wars flick out of the park.

-There you have some of the men (namely 7) who I’d like to see tell a story set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. That’s just my thoughts though…what about all of you? Do you like one of my picks? Are they terrible choices? Are you holding out for one of the big names to change their mind? Do you have someone else entirely in mind? The floor is yours folks, so let your picks be heard. Have at it!

Thoughts? Discuss in the comments!

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Written by Joey Magidson

When he’s not obsessing over new Oscar predictions on a weekly basis, Joey is seeing between 300 and 350 movies a year. He views the best in order to properly analyze the awards race/season each year, but he also watches the worst for reasons he mostly sums up as "so you all don't have to". In his spare time, you can usually find him complaining about the Jets or the Mets. Still, he lives and dies by film. Joey's a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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