Del Toro Passed 'Star Wars: Episode VII' & Wanted Brad Bird to Direct
Another day, and another director has revealed his decision to not direct Star Wars: Episode VII. Though we haven't heard that Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro was in consideration to direct the sci-fi sequel that has been under much scrutiny since being announced last fall, the filmmaker talked to The Playlist and revealed that he passed on the project already. The director said, "It was just a phone call, it didn't go past that, it was very nice to be asked, but believe it or not, I'm busy enough. It was very flattering." We're aware of how busy del Toro has been for years, so we're not surprised.
So does the director, who has also done plenty of producing, have any ideas for who should direct? Well, sadly the only name he offers as his favorite option is a director who is already out of the running. But it's also the name that many fans (including ourselves) were championing. Del Toro says, "I think the fans deserve somebody that is just going to immerse themselves completely. As a geek, I would have loved to see Brad Bird take it." And that's a geek who is well versed in both Star Wars and filmmaking, so that's quite the endorsement. And as we learned last November, Bird took himself out of the running as he will be busy with his original sci-fi project 1952, and that's not just a codename for Star Wars.
So now what? Well, it's 2013, and the film's release (which is presumably the summer of 2015), is just two and a half years away. Production will need to begin sometime this year in order to meet the 2015 release window. That means sometime in the near future we should have some solid news about who will be at the helm of this new sequel. Michael Arndt, the writer of Toy Story 3 and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is scripting Episode VII, and delivered a treatment for the whole new trilogy. Meanwhile, while writers Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg were originally thought to be tackling Episode VIII and Episode IX, they're supposedly working on unidentified Star Wars spin-off films. Let's hope Disney clears this up soon.