Friday, November 09, 2012

What If Spielberg Directed "Star Wars: Episode VII" ?

Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt ("Little Miss Sunshine") continues to work on the screenplay for the developing Disney/Lucasfilm 3D feature "Star Wars: Episode VII", set for a 2015 release.

Although various directors have been approached to read the treatment, none would be better suited than George Lucas' personal friend and professional associate, Steven Spielberg, even though Spielberg has said, "It’s not my genre. It’s my best friend George’s genre."

What is not widely known is that Spielberg has been involved with "Star Wars" since 1977, when he accepted a small percentage of director Lucas' points from the first "Star Wars" movie.

Spielberg recalls, "George came back from 'Star Wars' a nervous wreck. He didn't feel 'Star Wars' came up to the vision he initially had. He felt he had just made this little kids' movie. He came to Mobile, Alabama where I was shooting 'Close Encounters' on this humongous set and hung out with me for a couple of days.

"He said, 'Oh my God, your movie is going to be so much more successful than 'Star Wars'. This is gonna' be the biggest hit of all time.

"He said, 'You want to trade some points? I'll give you two and a half per cent of 'Star Wars' if you give me two and a half per cent of 'Close Encounters'.

"I said, 'Sure, I'll gamble with that, great'. And I think I came out on top of that bet. 'Close Encounters' made so much money and rescued Columbia from bankruptcy. It was the most money I ever made, but it was a meagre success story. 'Star Wars' was a phenomenon and I was the happy beneficiary of a couple of points from that movie which I am still seeing money on today."

It was Spielberg who introduced Lucas to John Williams, who would go on to create the musical score for many of their films.

In 1980, Spielberg directed "Raiders of the Lost Ark", which Lucas executive produced. The pair went on to work together to produce and create the stories for "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull".

Spielberg was Lucas' first choice to direct "Return of the Jedi", but was unable to do so, due to union restrictions, following Lucas' departure from the Directors Guild of America.

In "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith", Spielberg is credited in the final version of the film as an Assistant Director.

Picture a new "Star Wars" feature film, the first in a new trilogy, directed by Steven Spielberg, with all the visceral action of "Saving Private Ryan", the thrilling adventure of "Raiders of The Lost Ark", the horror of "Jaws", the compassion of "ET" and the wonder of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"...

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek George Lucas talking "Star Wars: Episode VII"...