Director David Fincher is loved by cinephiles (including yours truly), and has an iconic lineup of films on his resume, which include Fight Club, Se7en, The Social Network and Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Fans of mystery/thrillers also tend to have special reverence for Fincher’s Zodiac, and are therefore probably eager to see his new film, Gone Girl.
However, while out promoting Gone Girl, Fincher has been talking about other happenings in his career – which has understandably brushed up against big blockbuster undertakings like the current mega-universe franchises like DC/Marvel superheroes and more specifically, Star Wars. Apparently, there was a possibility that we could’ve seen David Fincher’s Star Wars Episode VII instead of J.J. Abrams’.
Speaking with Total Film, Fincher said the following about his meetings with Disney/LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy, regarding the Episode VII director’s chair:
I talked to Kathy about it, but I think that it’s a different thing from… I don’t know what Disney-Lucasfilm will be like.
It’s tricky. My favourite is ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. If I said, ‘I want to do something more like that,’ then I’m sure the people paying for it would be like, ‘No! You can’t do that! We want it like the other one with all the creatures!’
That’s kind of a specious statement from Fincher – who is, admittedly, known for making movies dark in both cinematography and subject matter. It’s a specious statement because if any of the major Episode VII story rumors are in fact true, then Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and writer Lawrence Kasdan may actually have some darker elements in store for their version of the film – which could include everything from a galaxy still torn by remnants of the Empire/Rebellion war, to the film possibly opening with the image of a severed hand in space. Non of that is light, fluffy, creature stuff.
In fact, throughout the production process of Episode VII there has been a desire – repeatedly expressed by the filmmakers – to move away from more juvenile elements of the franchise (The Ewoks, Jar-Jar, pod racing) and get back to the original flavor of the series – going so far back as to use original concept artwork by Star Wars icon/artist Ralph McQuarrie as inspiration for the design aesthetics of both Episode VII, and the new Star Wars Rebels TV series.
If anything, the current team of filmmakers and shared universe architects guiding the Star Wars franchise are – by all observable accounts – moving toward more mature and complex story elements that mirror the darker, more complex times we live in. In other words: Episode VII might end up being a Star Wars project that would’ve been perfectly fitting for someone like David Fincher.
On the other hand, Fincher is the type of tightly-controlling director who may have had a hard time (for various reasons besides tone) working under the Disney/LucasFilm tent. After all, if you listen to his particular insights into the original Star Wars films (specifically Episodes IV and V), he definitely has a much different take on things – which could’ve resulted in one strange approach to a Star Wars movie:
I always thought of Star Wars as the story of two slaves [C-3PO and R2-D2] who go from owner to owner, witnessing their masters’ folly, the ultimate folly of man… I thought it was an interesting idea in the first two, but it’s kind of gone by Return Of The Jedi.
Star Wars Episode VIII already has Rian Johnson (Looper) as a writer/director – but Episode IX is presumably still fair game. Maybe David Fincher can slide in there and get a shot at a Star Wars film that is hopefully in the sort of place he would feel comfortable working with? If this new trilogy is truly headed in the direction we think, Episode IX could have plenty of darkness and serious stakes to it. Right now, it doesn’t seem like anyone is interested in making another Return of the Jedi…
Heck, with Star Wars spinoff films filling the gabs between Episodes, maybe Fincher can even make his 100 Years A Droid movie. With Obi-Wan, Yoda, Han Solo and Boba Fett all leading the rumor mill as candidates for spinoff projects, C3-PO and R2D2 have just as much a shot as any other characters they want to dredge up from the Original Trilogy.
NEXT: 10 Potential Star Wars Spinoff Films
Gone Girl will be in theaters on October 3, 2014.
Star Wars Episode VII will be in theaters on December 18, 2015.