Mangold outlines Star Wars movie timeline, biblical inspirations

Director James Mangold will be busy with some major properties, officially signing on to helm a new Star Wars movie.

Tea Star Wars Celebration has offered plenty of major announcements so far, not the least of which is a new movie set to be directed by James Mangold, who is certainly familiar with major franchises.

During the event, Empire caught up with James Mangold to discuss his standalone Star Wars movie, which will be set a long time ago–yes, in a galaxy far, far away. Touching on the timeframe, Mangold said, “It takes place 25,000 years before Episode IV, and it’s about the discovery of the Force.” But it’s not just the previous Star Wars movies that influenced Mangold, but also biblical epics of the 1950s. “I told Kathy [Kennedy, head of Lucasfilm] I wanted to make a kind of Bible movie, a kind of Ten Commandments of Star Wars–kind of a Cecil B DeMille film about the arrival of the Force, and that’s what I’ve been pecking away at between press events. That’s the idea.”

James Mangold also said that his Star Wars movie will be able to stand on its own but still owes a lot to the franchise’s legacy, saying, “It’s a movie that both connects to the worlds we know, but is also far enough away from it that I think there’s a lot of opportunities to tell a story freely, also…and not be so incredibly tied in by the knots and different story strands that are already in place.”

Mangold is one of the busiest guys in Hollywood right now. In addition to a Star Wars movie, James Mangold also has the fifth IndianaJones entry set for a Cannes Film Festival debut, writing/directing duties on the Swamp Thing movie for the DC Universe and a Bob Dylan biopic in the works. He was once tied to a Buster Keaton biopic, but that seems to have been overtaken by Matt Reeves, who is set to direct Rami Malek as the silent-era comedian.

Are you looking forward to James Mangold entering the Star Wars universe? Do you think he’s the right guy to take part in a new Rey-focused trilogy? Let us know what you’re hoping for in the comments section below!