5. Edgar Wright
Edgar Wright‘s films are witty, lively, visually inventive, and so well-crafted he makes it all look easy. His sensibility veers more toward the comic than the Star Wars films usually do, but seeing as the films could stand to get some better jokes, that seems like a good thing. And he’s a geek who is himself beloved by other geeks, so you know he gets Star Wars and why we love it. (As well as why we sometimes don’t — see Spaced.)

4. Brad Bird
The ideal Star Wars director would be able to deliver thrills and heart in equal measure. Brad Bird‘s proven more than capable of dishing out both. His live-action debut Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol featured some of the best action sequences of 2011 — slick, stylish, and heart-poundingly exciting — while his Pixar outings The Incredibles and Ratatouille were among the most moving the studio had ever done. Just imagine what he could do with a story as ripe as Star Wars.

3. Alfonso Cuarón
Alfonso Cuarón‘s Children of Men has rightly been hailed as a modern classic of the sci-fi genre, and deservedly so. The dystopia he created in that film felt gritty and lived-in, and even in the midst of bleak there were touching moments of humor, warmth, and grace. But perhaps the film that really recommends him for this job is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which like Star Wars was family-friendly tentpole fare. He found the perfect balance between fidelity to the source material and creative license, and the result was the most energetic installment of that long-running series.

2. J.J. Abrams
The very thing that proves J.J. Abrams‘ suitability for the job could be the very thing that’ll rule him out — that is, his success with 2009’s Star Trek. In an ideal world, however, Abrams would be a strong contender. He breathed fresh life into the classic Star Trek franchise to bring us an crowd-pleasing new installment, deftly balancing adrenaline-pumping action with intimate character moments. As an added bonus, hiring Abrams could go a long way toward mending that Star Wars / Trek rift that’s divided pop culture geeks for so many decades.

1. Joss Whedon
Considering the year he’s had, Joss Whedon may be the most obvious choice on this list. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s a great one. Whedon demonstrated with this summer’s The Avengers that he could direct the hell out of a big-budget Hollywood action movie while staying true to its much-loved characters and, as Disney’s already well aware, make truckloads of money while doing so. The geek god has a proven knack for sharp dialogue, strong storytelling — and lasting emotional connections. No one walks away from a Whedon movie without falling a little bit in love with his characters. Plus, Mal from Firefly was basically Han Solo with a better sense of humor. So hiring Whedon would almost be like bringing that brilliant-but-cancelled show back, as well. If only there wasn’t that pesky exclusive contract with Marvel…

Continue Reading “10 Filmmakers Who Should Direct the New ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy – and 5 Who Shouldn’t”

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