Less than a year after Disney had finalized its purchase of Lucasfilm and announced J.J. Abrams as the director of The Force Awakens, and five months before Man of Steel arrived in theaters, reports were making the rounds that said Zack Snyder was developing a standalone Star Wars spinoff that would have been inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, which is in itself one of the most influential movies ever made.
The 1954 classic is regarded as one of the greatest films in history, and was a huge influence on George Lucas when he was creating the Star Wars mythology in the first place, while such names as Quentin Tarantino, Peter Jackson, George Miller, Ridley Scott, James Cameron and more have all cribbed elements from either its visual or narrative palate, as did Snyder himself ironically when he literally said during his first stint at the helm of Justice League that Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne would “Seven Samurai” the titular team together.
However, the story was denied by the filmmaker’s representatives at the time, only for the Army of the Dead director to finally admit eight years later that he was indeed toying with the idea of a Star Wars spinoff set outside of the main timeline inspired by Kurosawa’s epic. Not only that, but Snyder also teased that he might still bring his idea to life as an unrelated movie outside of a galaxy far, far away.
“Yeah, we talked about it but it never, you know. I’ve been working on it, just away from the Star Wars universe, just on my own, just as a sci-fi thing. It’s still a sci-fi thing, it’s the same story, just kind of now I let Star Wars be Star Wars and I’m just gonna, you know. The 11 year-old me still wants to make that, now I just know how to, so maybe we’ll see that someday.”
As well as the Original Trilogy, Seven Samurai‘s fingerprints can also be felt all over Rogue One, The Clone Wars episode “Bounty Hunters” and the fourth episode of The Mandalorian‘s first season, the latter two of which pay a direct and overt homage. It’s only a matter of time before Star Wars delivers a thinly-veiled remake, then, unless of course Snyder beats them to the punch with his own sci-fi version.