Rumor: Seven Samurai-inspired Star Wars spin-off coming from Zack Snyder

It’s only been three months since Disney announced it’s multi-billion dollar acquisition of the Lucasfilm empire, and there has been no shortage of announcements about the future of Star Wars. Right out the gate, Disney said in plain terms that it planned to make a new Star Wars film every other year starting with a new trilogy to continue the main storyline. That places Star Wars Episode VIIVIII, and IX on a smooth schedule from 2015 to the end of the decade. Core story trilogies are just the beginning, though, as Disney’s also hinted that spin-off films are also in the cards. 300 and Sucker Punch director Zack Snyder may be just the man to make one of these spin-offs.

Vulture reported on Monday that once he’s finished with his Superman feature Man of Steel and sequel 300: Battle of Artemisia, Snyder will being work on a new Star Wars film whose story takes place at the same time as the new trilogy beginning with Episode VII. Snyder’s film will be based loosely on Akira Kurosawa’s seven samurai, with a group of Jedi gathered to protect the defenseless rather than a gang of unshaven but noble Japanese warriors. The inspiration is appropriate considering the original 1977 Star Wars cribbed its entire plot from Kurosawa’s The Fortress.

Snyder’s representation was quick to deny the rumors, much as they were in November when word popped up that Snyder was a frontrunner to direct Star Wars: Episode VII. “While he is super-flattered because he is a huge fan, Zack is not involved in any way with the new Star Wars,” his spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter, “He is currently in post on his two films Man of Steel and 300.”

Vulture in turn said that it stands by its source and noted that when asked for a follow up, Snyder’s spokesperson very pointedly stressed that the director isn’t involved with Star Wars at this exact moment while also refusing to discuss plans past those previously mentioned features.

As Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool notes, this type of blank denial is common for Lucasfilm productions. In 1997, when discussing rumors of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace casting, Lucasfilm said in no uncertain terms that Ewan McGregor would not be playing Obi-Wan Kenobi even though he had already been contracted to do so.

The short version: Just because Snyder’s representation says he isn’t doesn’t mean he isn’t. 

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