Sunday 18 November 2012

UPDATED - Star Wars Update: Brad Bird's Out, Who's In?

The hot topic at the moment is who's going to direct Star Wars: Episode VII? Already the most anticipated film in the history of the world, the first film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy will allegedly see the return of Luke, Han and Leia, with more old faces seemingly set to return, along with everyone and their mum wanting to be a part of the film, which is being scripted by Toy Story 3 writer, Michael Arndt. With all the news we are getting though, the one bit we're not is that all important nugget of who's going to direct it.

Hordes of fan-choices are publicly denying involvement: Abrams is out, Spielberg is out, Vaughn is apparently out, Whedon's busy, and now, sorry Internet, but Brad Bird is out too. Inundated with pleas and hopes from fans of his animated (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant, Ratatouille) and live-action (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol) work, the two-time Oscar winning director took to Twitter last night to quash the rumours:

So there we have it. Bird won't be directing Star Wars: Episode 7, due to his prior commitments on another tent-pole Disney sci-fi, the tentatively titled 1952 - allegedly about Nikolai Tesla and starring George Clooney.

Part of me's sad that one of my favourite directors won't be helming one of my favourite franchises, but, on the other hand, despite knowing next to nothing about it, I'm very excited for 1952. Seeing Bird tackle an original film, with the scope and originality of sci-fi, without some of the attached restraints of doing it with animation, is very exciting, and I can't wait to see what comes of it!

Bird, who also directed some early Simpsons episodes, did give his ringing endorsement to the film though - no matter who'll wind up directing - and it's strong crew thus far:

But who could direct then? Jon Favreau (Iron Man), Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger) and Josh Trank (Chronicle) are being campaigned for by fans (alas, Christopher Nolan may be just a trifle too expensive). However, the ever more likely director is one most fans will likely never have heard of, Colin Trevorrow.

Trevorrow's first film, Safety Not Guaranteed, is out now on home video in the US, and opens here in the UK this Christmas, and apparently put him on George Lucas's radar in a big way. For all the desire to have an accomplished big-name director attached to the new Star Wars, the best thing for it may actually be an ambitious, young, filmmaker with everything to gain - like Trevorrow.

Trevorrow posted a curious Tweet that pay be to the contrary though - although, with the above interview (via Bleeding Cool) emerging, it's entirely possible he's just trying to throw us off the trail.

Because, watching this interview from June (skip to 21:45) it certainly sounds likely that he's involved in some capacity. I trust Disney/Lucasfilm's judgement, and going off of Trevorrow's own statement ("I love it as much as you do. And I will respect it, and hopefully make it not suck."), he certainly sounds game.

Star Wars: Episode VII is due for release by Disney in 2015 - the same year Avengers 2 will hit screens; Disney's going to be bathing in billions of dollars that year!

UPDATE - 20/11/2012 00:15 (GMT): Y'know, or not...


  1. Adding onto your last statement, Disney will probably make so much that year they'll have enough to buy yet another company.

    But Star Wars VII AND Avengers 2 in the same year? 2015 is already bursting with awesomeness. Let's just hope these release dates don't get pushed back...

    1. At this point, Disney's next acquisition is the moon! And then construction on a real Death Star will begin...