With the promise of Star Wars: Episode VII just around the corner in 2015, it’s important to gain a bit of perspective on the rumors and speculation surrounding the new Star Wars movie. As of this post, Disney and Lucasfilm have yet to announce who will direct Episode VII. It doesn’t look like they will until maybe the New Year. So while we’re waiting for more news, here’s a look at a similar “Who will direct Star Wars?” question…from 34 years ago.
The first Star Wars film was a big hit in 1977. It was so big that everyone wanted a piece of the sequel, and many Hollywood directors were vying for the opportunity to pitch George Lucas on the direction the series should go. One of the directors who pitched Lucas was Michael Cimino, whose Deer Hunter won Best Picture and Best Director the following year, in 1978. Recently, Cimino started a Twitter account (@Cimino139), and he soon unveiled this little bit of Star Wars history:
Everyone was pitching ideas for STAR WARS / Mine was simple: / A straight Western / but with lasers. / All the sets already built of course.
— Michael Cimino (@Cimino1939) December 7, 2012
In addition to The Deer Hunter, Cimino is best known for directing the 1980 film Heaven’s Gate, one of the the biggest box office bombs in cinematic history. Luckily, George Lucas eventually hired Irving Kushner to direct the Star Wars sequel and he delivered The Empire Strikes Back.
It just goes to show you, the long-shot rumors we have today regarding Episode VII aren’t too far off from the way things were in the aftermath of the first Star Wars film’s success.
Now we’ll just have to wait another 34 years to find out if Cimino is going to pitch for Episode VII.