STORY UPDATED: Cimino's idea is now at the foot of the post.
As we're wondering about how Disney might sequelise and spin-off Star Wars, and hoping for some bold and ambitious moves, here's an interesting tid bit about one old possibility that never came to be.
Michael Cimino wandered a cross a Twitter joke apparently at his expense, and decided to reply - while also slipping in some surprising new info.@maxevry @germainlussier Unfair & unfunny. I made a unique pitch for the 2nd film in 1978/9.Of course, as soon as I noticed this, I tweeted back to Cimino telling him that I'd love to know more. Maybe he'll one day oblige.
? Michael Cimino (@Cimino1939) December 7, 2012
Now, my interest is not so much because I'm a huge, swooning Star Wars fan but because this is Michael Cimino, director of The Deer Hunter, Heaven's Gate and, my particular favourite film of his, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. If he pitched on a yogurt commercial I'd like to know what he came up with. In fact, I'd like a Blu-ray copy of that commercial.
So back in '78-'79, even while he was sweeping the boards at the Oscars, Cimino's Star Wars pitch was rejected - but then in the 80s, Lucas approached both David Lynch and David Cronenberg to see if they'd like to be involved in Return of the Jedi.
It's clearly not that he's worried about "less commercially minded filmmakers" - he's always considered himself to be one such outsider, anyhow. I assume it's that Lucas wanted these guys to march to the beat he established in the first picture. He didn't want their pitches, he wanted their service to his concept.
Can't say I blame him. Shame he just wasn't so good at keeping perfect time with himself when it came to the prequels.
UPDATE: Cimino has now shared his comments on what his Star Wars movie would have been like and, to me, it sounds an awful lot like Firefly.Everyone was pitching ideas for STAR WARS / Mine was simple: / A straight Western / but with lasers. / All the sets already built of course.
&mdash; Michael Cimino (@Cimino1939) December 7, 2012