Why Is Star Wars Losing Its Directors? | NowThis Nerd

Hey everybody I’m Dev and I might as well be directing the next ‘Star Wars’ movie I mean, it feels like Disney and Lucasfilm are just burning through every director in Hollywood right now, So why not give a humble YouTube host a shot? I’ve even got my own theory Why 'Star Wars' is Losing Its Directors With Colin Trevorrow getting the boot, that makes four directors who have either quit, been fired, or otherwise stepped away from the ‘Star Wars’ saga

This is a little concerning Ever since Disney bought the franchise, the producers behind ‘Star Wars’ have kept their directors on a tight leash I own all this shit now! I own the Death Star! I own Tatooine! It's all mine! It’s a far cry from the days of auteur directors calling the shots, In fact, it feels more like how TV shows are made And with a hugely profitable series like ‘Star Wars,’ That kind of makes sense I expect to be well paid

I'm in it for the money Let’s get into the distinction between Directors and Producers During the early days of cinema, movies were made under the “studio system” Massive studios like Warner Brothers, MGM, and RKO only used their own contracted staff to make movies The studios basically owned their talent, from actors to writers and even directors And just like Lucasfilm today, they had no problem getting rid of directors who didn’t toe the company line

For example, the final cut of ‘Gone With the Wind’ is a mishmash of three different directors, Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn and ‘The Wizard of Oz’ went through four before it was all said and done But by the late ‘60s, the studios had lost sight of what audiences were looking for And after the success of movies like ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ and ‘The Graduate,’ Mrs Robinson, you're trying to seduce me

Studios were willing to give more artistic control to innovative new filmmakers The “New Hollywood” era was the beginning of directors being seen as the authors of the final film Why don't you get a haircut? They more or less ‘own’ the movie, the way a novelist owns their book Think about this Do you consider ‘Alien’ a Dan O’Bannon film, or a Ridley Scott film? Now, producers still play a major role

There’s a reason they get handed the Best Picture Oscar They put up the money for the film, and they’re responsible for making sure it gets completed, and that it makes a profit Yeah, but this time I've got the money Now, producers clashing with directors is part of Hollywood lore That how we got that crappy narration in ‘Blade Runner

’ They don't advertise for killers in the newspaper That was my profession Ex-Blade Runner But film directors, especially well-known ones, still have a lot of power They can fight for their vision and a lot of times, they win

In TV, it’s a different story If a movie is a meal, the director is the chef that cooks it from the screenwriter’s recipe And the person who owns the restaurant is the producer 3 dollars! What? No soup for you! But the balance of power is a lot different when you have to make a new meal every single week Let’s talk about TV

Every episode of scripted TV is like its own mini-movie, with a rotating staff of writers, crew, and directors Suddenly, the producer becomes way more important In TV, that role is filled by the “showrunner” They’re not exactly the same as a Hollywood producer, but the responsibilities are similar From Vince Gilligan’s ‘Breaking Bad’ to Matthew Weiner’s ‘Mad Men,’ In the Golden Age of Television, the showrunner is the star

And the director kind of takes the backseat Look at ‘Game of Thrones’ for example Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of the best-directed shows on TV, thanks to incredible talent like Michelle MacLaren and Alan Taylor But at the end of the day, I’m putting all the blame for the rushed storytelling and the Ed Sheeran cameo on Benioff and Weiss That's a pretty song

I've never heard it before It's a new one [Singing] They’re the ones in charge, and it’s up to the showrunner to deliver a consistent, quality episode each and every week In TV, the director is kind of just a hired gun And it seems like “cinematic universes” are being run the same way

I wanna touch on Marvel for a second As president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige is basically the showrunner of the MCU And so far, he’s been pretty cool about letting different directors express themselves in his sandbox Feige didn’t pick an established action guy to kick off his new cinematic universe Before ‘Iron Man,’ Jon Favreau’s biggest hit was ‘Elf

’ You did it! Congratulations! And since then, Marvel Studios has trusted their brand to some pretty eclectic talent, whether it’s a Troma veteran like James Gunn, Or comedy guys like the Russo brothers, whose biggest claim to fame was directing the pilot of ‘Arrested Development’ This is the magic trick, huh? Illusion, Michael Trick is something a whore does for money Now, even if Feige is relatively hands-off, everything hasn’t been perfect Edgar Wright left ‘Ant-Man’ over creative differences with the studio, And Joss Whedon got so frustrated that he actually fled to DC after ‘Age of Ultron

’ But Disney is a having a much bigger problem with its other major franchise: Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is the Kevin Feige of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise She was already a powerhouse producer on films like ‘ET’ and ‘Jurassic Park’ when George Lucas passed her the torch After J

J Abrams kicked off the rebirth of ‘Star Wars,’ she hired young directors with a lot of buzz, but not much on their resume And so far, only Rian Johnson seems to be working out The first to go was Josh Trank After his debut film ‘Chronicle,’ he signed on to do the Boba Fett spinoff

Boba Fett?! Where? But first, he made the disastrous ‘Fantastic Four’ I promise you I'm going to fix this I stopped believing in your bullshit a long time ago After heavy reshoots and alleged unprofessional behavior on-set, Lucasfilm wanted nothing to do with him, so he “resigned” What about Gareth Edwards? He made a pretty decent Godzilla movie, But Lucasfilm was not happy with how ‘Rogue One’ was turning out

Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, Director Just six months before the movie released, they allegedly pushed him aside They paid director Tony Gilroy $5 million to oversee heavy reshoots, and it totally shows You can almost edit an entire movie out of stuff that was only in the trailers Sources say up to 40% of the film was reshot, including the awesome Darth Vader scene

We still don’t know for sure what each director contributed to it, But that’s almost beside the point All that matters is that the producers weren’t happy, And they were willing to drop some bank on a ringer to spice it up Now Lord and Miller were straight-up fired from ‘Han Solo’ They became famous for clever comedies like ‘The Lego Movie’ and ‘21 Jump Street’ So I’m not sure what Kennedy was expecting in the first place

Longtime ‘Star Wars’ writer Lawrence Kasdan butted heads with them over their comedic tone and improv style No, you're not fingering my mouth! We're doing it, let's go! C'mon! Kennedy took his side, and replaced them with the bland but dependable Ron Howard And besides I happen to know more about this than you do Is that so? And now the news just broke, two weeks ago, that Colin Trevorrow has left ‘Episode IX’ The official line is that “visions for the project differ” between him and Lucasfilm In reality, it probably has more to do with the fact that ‘The Book of Henry’ was a complete turd

It made like $4 million Worldwide And the rumors that he’s a difficult diva probably don’t help So, they brought JJ Abrams back on board, and it makes sense He’s already proven he can work within the franchise without being too much of a headache

It’s not the most innovative or exciting pick in the world, but that’s okay That’s because a producer’s job isn’t just to tell stories or make art They also have to make certain the art they’re spending hundreds of millions on turns a profit And, with a cinematic universe, it’s up to them to ensure it fits with the rest of the films in the pipeline Each movie is just one piece of a larger puzzle, Just like a TV showrunner, the producer is responsible for maintaining quality and consistency across the board

Honestly, in the long run Lucasfilm’s director problem likely won’t even matter Think about it: Did you go see ‘The Force Awakens’ because it was a new JJ Abrams film? Or did ‘Star Wars’ put your ass in that seat? Don’t get me wrong, he made an incredible movie But these days, most blockbusters aren’t about the directors

They’re about the brand

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