Well, it’s all coming out now on the Star Wars front. Recently we heard the bizarre report that body horror aficionado David Cronenberg was once considered to take the reins for The Return of the Jedi, and now The Deer Hunter‘s Michael Cimino has come right out and said that he made a pitch to direct The Empire Strikes Back back in 1978/79, a pitch that went obviously unheard because that’s crazy talk, Michael Cimino.
Yes, Cimino has been granted a little spotlight recently since his western flop Heaven’s Gate has been issued a fancy Criterion Collection edition. Responding to a Twitter joke in which somebody asked Cimino if he planned on directing an all singin’ 3.5 hour cut of Star Wars: Episode VII, the director responded with: “Unfair & unfunny. I made a unique pitch for the 2nd film in 1978/9,” a pitch that presumably involved lots of expensive-looking shots, an hour-long wedding sequence between Han and Leia, and an obligatory Christopher Walken role.
Cimino, of course, shot himself in the foot when he descended into a kind of egotistical madness whilst making Heaven’s Gate, refusing to play ball with the studio executives over at United Artists, and refusing to let them see the film until opening night for that matter, because what right do they have? As a result, ol’ Cimino has remained in the shadows for many years, occasionally emerging from the woodwork to show people his lovely new sunglasses. Despite that, though, a Michael Cimino-directed Empire Strikes Back is definitely an intriguing idea that would have at least been a bizarre cinematic release to ponder, or, like, fall asleep to.