Two experts go head to head as we ask if Disney’s plan to continue the film franchise will cause a disturbance in the Force.
Chris Hewitt, news editor at Empire
I used to dream of waking up one morning and hearing that Episode VII would be made. The fact that it’s now happening is mind-blowing.
I’m not worried about the Disney element. All the Star Wars movies except Revenge Of The Sith were rated U or PG, so the franchise has always been family friendly. Disney already owns Marvel and it doesn’t have a huge say in what it does, so it might be the same with Lucasfilm. The fact that George Lucas has a creative consultant role should also head most critics off at the pass. Many people thought that Lucas was the reason why the prequels didn’t work. Well, he’s taken a back seat this time.
The important thing is getting the right talent behind the camera. Guillermo del Toro may throw his hat in the ring as director – and David Fincher’s another one. A potential dark horse might be our own Matthew Vaughn – a massive Star Wars fan.
I think over the next few weeks we’ll see a lot of directors clearing their schedules. It’s tremendously exciting.
Peter Bradshaw, film critic at The Guardian
I was a bit disenchanted by the prequels. So, the thought of more Star Wars films does make me droop a bit.
The real fear is that the only reason these are happening is because it makes commercial sense. The great thing about the originals was that they really wanted to do them. There was a feeling that they were driven by George Lucas as a director. But now, there’s a sense of the franchise rumbling along like an aircraft carrier, with people hopping on and off whenever.
There’s also the fact that top directors may avoid the job. If someone such as Brad Bird comes on board and starts saying, “I want to OK the casting” and so on, Disney may well say, “That’s not how it works – this is a corporate product, so we decide”. That might alienate the most talented directors.
It’s ultimately about whether Disney has the confidence to let a truly dynamic director take over – and whether Lucas is prepared to stay at arm’s length.