Now it can be told: David Cronenberg was once asked to direct one of the entries in the Star Wars franchise.
Best known for his sci-fi thrillers and intense character studies, the iconic Canadian director made the revelation during his appearance at the Provincetown International Film Festival, where he was being honoured, fittingly enough, with the Filmmaker on the Edge award.
And while it’s difficult to imagine the man responsible for such disturbing cinema contributions as Videodrome and The Fly wrangling wookies and Imperial stormtroopers on a film set, Cronenberg told the story as matter-of-factly as could be imagined.
“I got a phone call once asking if I was interested in directing one of the Star Wars sequels,” said the Toronto-born director, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “And instead of saying, ‘Oh, my God, yes!’ I said, ‘Well you know, I don’t really do other people’s material.’ Click. I don’t know how far it would have gone, but it ended there.”
Cronenberg did not elaborate further on which Star Wars film he was approached about or who made the offer.
At the same event, Cronenberg also told attendees that he was briefly on board to direct the 2012 sci-fi thriller Total Recall, which was a remake of the 1990 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In the end, the remake starring Colin Farrell was handed to journeyman director Len Wiseman (whose wife Kate Beckinsale co-starred in the film), received tepid reviews.
“This is a big studio movie that’s going to cost $200 million,” mused Cronenberg. “They’re going to give to a guy who’s directed a couple of rock videos because he’s someone they can control. But it’s not in my nervous system to do something like that.”
In the final tally, Cronenberg continues to explore his creative muse in his own films – his latest, Maps to the Stars was warmly received at last month’s Cannes Film Festival – while the Star Wars franchise marches on.
In other Star Wars news, according to reports this week, Tom Cruise met with Star Wars: Episode VII director J.J. Abrams in London to discuss the possibility of him making a cameo appearance in the new film.