If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Zack Snyder, whose first crack at the Superman franchise, 'Man of Steel,' hits theaters in June, was reported back in November to be among the litany of directors who would not be helming 'Star Wars Episode VII.' While that still appears to be true, Snyder may not have departed the 'Star Wars' universe entirely. He is rumored to be developing a samurai film set within the world of the series, and running parallel to the next trilogy. Snyder's film is said to be a take on Akira Kurosawa's 1954 masterpiece 'The Seven Samuriai,' with Jedi in place of the titular ronin. It is thought that this standalone feature will take place after the events of 'Return of the Jedi.' No word yet on an official deal nor when this Jedi/samurai film will be released.
Jumping bushido! This sounds amazing! To be honest, one of the things that interested me most about the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm wasn't so much the new trilogy as it was the announcement of several offshoot movies set within the 'Star Wars' universe. The one I was really hoping for was a noir-like crime thriller about bounty hunters in Mos Eisley, but this is a very close second. I love samurai cinema, and 'The Seven Samurai' is far and away one of the best. There is already a thematic and metaphoric relationship between samurai and Jedi, and that is no accident. Lucas long ago stated that Kurosawa was one of his biggest influences. In fact, if you go back and watch 1958's 'The Hidden Fortress,' you'll notice a great many elements that eventually found their way into 'A New Hope.' This new sci-fi version of 'The Seven Samurai' sounds, and I know this sounds crazy, like it might even be better than Roger Corman's 'Battle Beyond the Stars.' All that being said, I'm not sure I agree that Zack Synder is the right person to direct this, if indeed that's what they mean by his "developing" the project. If they really want to go all out here, my vote would be for Takashi Miike, who has proven with his '13 Assassins' that he knows how to recapture the magic of Kurosawa within samurai cinema. Of course, given the track record of 'Star Wars' news since the acquisition was announced, all of this should be considered speculation at this point.
Update: It looks like the answer to the headline question is an unfortunate "no." According to Zack Snyder's reps, via THR, he is not working on any 'Star Wars' related films. The saddest part of this is that the project itself doesn't seem to exist. As I said above, my excitement for a 'Star Wars' version of 'The Seven Samurai' wasn't based on Snyder's involvement, but on the concept itself. Luscasfilm, please don't abandon this idea. For the time being, it looks like the rumor mill is churning faster than the truth.