Love him or hate him, John Landis is at it again. But he's not talking about how bad monster movies are these days, instead, he's decided to throw some shade towards Lucasfilm for firing directors and writers from the Star Wars movies. The monster movie aficionado is out promoting the latest 3D restoration of Michael Jackson's Thriller, which he said he had a lot of fun doing while mentioning that the estate is "just happy to exploit it and resell it." The veteran director pulls no punches, even when it comes to his family, but he left the best for Lucasfilm.
John Landis recently spoke with Collider about monsters, 3D, and other fascinating topics, but things got a little interesting when he was asked if he was working on anything new. Landis talks about the industry today not wanting anything to do with writers or directors that have their own strong opinion. Landis' viewpoint on creative freedom has been a hot topic as of late, especially with all of the turmoil surrounding Lucasfilm. The director had this to say.
"I have many things that I'm working on, whether or not they'll ever become real, I don't know. You know, Joe Dante and myself and a few other guys I know are in the same position. They're not hiring people who have opinions. They think, "He knows what he's doing, I'm not hiring him!"
John Landis went on to use Lucasfilm as his prime example when talking about the industry not wanting a director to come along with his/her opinion. In addition, the veteran director goes on to praise Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were recently let go from the Han Solo spin-off movie. Landis also spoke about how the recent firings aren't helping out Lucasfilm at all. He explains.
"Look at Star Wars. They keep firing guys. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, those guys are really talented. They're really funny and original guys. They shot 75% of the movie and I gotta tell you, it doesn't speak well for the new Lucasfilm. How many directors have they fired? Four. How many writers? Twelve."
But Landis wasn't done just yet. He then decided to bring up an old quote from George Lucas about selling Lucasfilm to Disney, aka, "white slavers." Landis explains.
"It's very worrying. Remember when George Lucas said that he felt like he sold his kids into white slavery? Well..."
Lucas cleared up his lack of judgement and soon apologized for using a bad choice of words, but Landis has just brought them back implying that Hollywood directors are treated like slaves. Probably not the wisest choice of words coming from an old white, rich dude.
While John Landis brings up some valid points, he probably could've chosen his words just a little bit better. Slavery and directing movies are two very different things, even when using hyperbole. Regardless, Star Wars 9 has just gotten J.J. Abrams back in the director's chair and one would have to assume that if the working conditions are so terrible at Lucasfilm, Abrams probably would have turned it down. Maybe Landis is bummed he didn't get picked for the job.