Brad Bird was among the first names to pop up on many people’s shortlist to direct Star Wars: Episode VII, when Disney acquired LucasFilm earlier this year. While the job eventually went to Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams, Bird did admit to The Hollywood Reporter that he was at one point asked to direct the highly anticipated sequel. The director also talks about the status of The Incredibles 2, another sequel everyone is waiting for to happen.
Hit the jump for some excerpts from the interview.
On the subject of being asked to direct Star Wars: Episode VII:
I’ve known Kathy [Kennedy] for a while and I know George [Lucas]. And they did come to me. But the problem was, the schedule they had in mind made it impossible to do…unless I dropped Tomorrowland. And I was just really deeply into this film at that point. It’s easy to say, “Just put it on hold.” But you’re moving now; you don’t know if you’re going to be able to move later. Maybe it’s true of filmmakers like Cameron or Spielberg, but I have to act on momentum. We had reached a critical mass where it would’ve thrown the furniture around from the train stopping. I really want to see this movie. I love the Star Wars films, and I can’t wait to see what J.J. does, but it meant I’d have to shut down one dream to participate in another. I feel like [with Tomorrowland] we’re making something that’s really special and unique.
Well, what is great about Disney’s plan is that they want to release at least one to two Star Wars films a year, this means that Bird will have his pick of any Star Wars film he wants, Episodic or spinoff, after he completes his work on Tomorrowland, starring George Clooney.
As to what is going on with The Incredibles 2, Bird also had something to say about the status of that film:
I have been thinking about it. People think that I have not been, but I have. Because I love those characters and love that world. I am stroking my chin and scratching my head. I have many, many elements that I think would work really well in another [Incredibles] film, and if I can get ‘em to click all together, I would probably wanna do that. I like the idea of moving a little more quickly in films. I’m looking for ways to accelerate the pace a little bit and figure out a way to keep creative control over these movies to a level where I’m comfortable with the end result but also speed them up a bit and make more of them. I have many different films I wanna make. It’s like a big airplane hangar and I have different projects on the floor; half-assembled in my brain. I’m interested in all of them. You kind of have to move on the ones people are willing to pay for and the ones you’re most excited about.
When it comes to the conformation of The Incredibles 2, it’s more of a waiting game. Look how long it took for Finding Dory, sequel to Finding Nemo, to happen. Pixar’s mantra is always to find the right story for its sequel, and I can’t imagine them or Bird straying away from it just to make a quick buck.
What I’m interested in are the “many different films” he wants to make. The filmmaker has gone from traditional animation with The Iron Giant to CGI with Ratatouille and The Incredibles to the live-action leap with Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol; so as one can imagine, many are interested to see what will happen after the mysterious Tomorrowland.