Patrick Dane writes for Bleeding Cool
This morning I was wondering who the favorite to direct the next Star Wars movie might be. In the innumerable "X number of Directors who should direct Episode Seven" lists online, Matthew Vaughn and Brad Bird are the two that appeared most often. Even still, I am pretty certain neither will end up taking the job.
And then I wondered if there was another barometer. I decided to see if any bookie was bonkers enough to actually offer odds on this matter. Oh, BetVictor you bonkers, bonkers bookie.
Yes, you can potentially win money on the eventual director. What is really bonkers, though, are the odds. Here is their list.
J.J. Abrams 9/4
Joss Whedon 4/1
Catherine Hardwicke 4/1
Duncan Jones 4/1
Jon Favreau 9/2
Steven Spielberg 5/1
Peter Jackson 11/2
Rian Johnson 11/2
Sam Mendes 6/1
Edgar Wright 7/1
Guillermo del Toro 8/1
Neill Blomkamp 8/1
Alfonso Cuaron 10/1
Christopher Nolan 10/1
Matt Reeves 12/1
Brad Bird 16/1
Frank Darabont 20/1
Ewan McGregor 33/1
Either BetVictor know something we don't, or they are incredibly out of the loop. First of all, not even listing Matthew Vaughn is somewhat baffling because even though he almost certainly won't do it, huge numbers seem to think he will.
And then there are those who can be dispelled straight away.
Funnily enough, their favorite J.J. Abrams can be chalked off. He was asked by HollywoodLife if he would have any interest in directing and he replied:
Look, Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time. I frankly feel that – I almost feel that, in a weird way, the opportunity for whomever it is to direct that movie, it comes with the burden of being that kind of iconic movie and series. I was never a big Star Trek fan growing up, so for me, working on Star Trek didn't have any of that, you know, almost fatal sacrilege, and so, I am looking forward more then anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!
Jon Faverau is a safer bet, as he didn't come out and deny being interested. Instead, he said:
I think both J.J. and I come from a generation of people who formed our whole creative persona around what we experienced as kids from watching those films, and I have had the good fortune of working with George [Lucas] and around George, and whether it is doing a voice on Clone Wars, or being at the Skywalker Ranch mixing Iron Man – so I have been very happy and lucky to just experience the culture that Lucas has created, both in my own life growing up as a kid and professional – whether it was interviewing him at film festivals on stage, he is just a really wonderful, talented gifted guy who has changed the business so much, so I am just giddy, first and foremost as a fan, to see what happens with it. I think there is a lot of question marks of how they are going to do it, and who they are going to do it with, and what the story is going to be about; but to say that I am not excited about it is definitely an understatement. We'll see.
Steven Spielberg is also out based on comments he made yesterday and I think it is fair to say Joss Whedon, Brad Bird, Matt Reeves, and Guillermo Del Toro are out due to other commitments.
Then there are the just plain strange additions to the list. I hadn't heard a single word about Catherine Hardwicke, so I have no idea why she comes in at joint second billing. Then there is also the longest shot of Obi-Wan himself, Ewan McGregor, who to be fair did direct a segment of Tube Tales in 1999, but let's be real here.
There is the trio of Duncan Jones, Rian Johnson and Edgar Wright who I wouldn't say would turn it down for sure but also seem to have a preference for more original work.
I also think you can cut out Peter Jackson and Chris Nolan as I don't think Disney would shell out the kind of money needed to get either. If either is involved in any way, I think it would be as some kind of extra producer.
Darabont, Mendes and Cuaron are possible as all of them have experience with franchises but I couldn't see them being interested in taking on something as large and, perhaps, as geek orientated as Star Wars.
The sensible bet here, for me, is Jon Favreau with a dark horse in Neil Blomkamp. I haven't seen any footage myself, but Brendon assures me that Elysium looks really great and isn't as far away from Star Wars as was District 9.
And then there is the option of None of The Above, which I know a certain editor of mine would go for. If you have the same inkling, BetVictor will give you odds on request.
This is probably the only time I will give betting advice and now I am sure Ewan McGregor will be announced as director tomorrow just to spite me. But if you really want my tip? Bet on Mark Hamill and Carrie Fischer returning. Your winnings will be small, but they will be winnings. For sure.