Before J.J. Abrams got the gig to direct Star Wars: Episode VII, there were many other directors on the rumored short list, from Brad Bird, Andrew Stanton, and Jon Favreau to Zack Snyder, Joss Whedon, and Guillermo Del Toro. Fan speculation and the Internet only fueled the rumor mill. Even Rian Johnson was one of the frontrunners, that is, until he got the job to direct Episode VIII and Episode IX. There were so many names, but Disney ultimately decided to let Abrams direct, with Johnson directing the final two episodes of the trilogy.
Now that Abrams is already months into production for Episode VII‘s December 2015 release, Gone Girl‘s David Fincher is talking about how he was close to directing the highly anticipated sequel. Hit the jump to see what he had to say about not accepting the offer to direct Episode VII.
While on the Gone Girl press tour, Total Film got to speak to the director about the film, and the subject of Star Wars came up. In the interview, Fincher confirmed that he had met with LucasFilm’s Kathleen Kennedy about the possibility of directing Episode VII; however, creative differences is what caused the director to drift away from the project. Here’s a full quote on what his Star Wars trilogy would have been like:
I talked to Kathy about it, but I think that it’s a different thing from… I don’t know what Disney-Lucasfilm will be like. It’s tricky. My favorite is The Empire Strikes Back. If I said, ‘I want to do something more like that,’ then I’m sure the people paying for it would be like, ‘No! You can’t do that! We want it like the other one with all the creatures!’ I always thought of Star Wars as the story of two slaves [C-3PO and R2-D2] who go from owner to owner, witnessing their masters’ folly, the ultimate folly of man… I thought it was an interesting idea in the first two, but it’s kind of gone by Return Of The Jedi.
Fincher makes an interesting point. “I don’t know what Disney-Lucasfilm will be like” says that he would not have been in full control of the film. While I would have loved to have seen a Star Wars film directed by Fincher that had the tone of Empire, I’m not sure how Disney would have responded to having a film like that open their new Trilogy. In fact, we really haven’t seen a “dark” Marvel film, unless they want Iron Man 4 to have the “Demon In A Bottle” story arc. While being a part of geek culture until the end of time sounds enticing, I don’t think Fincher is one to compromise his integrity just to direct a franchise.
But on the flip side of that, we don’t know where Abrams is going with Episode VII. We’ve seen hints of practical effect creatures, something that Fincher wanted to avoid if he had directed Episode VII, but we haven’t seen much of anything else. So who knows, maybe this could have been a missed opportunity for the acclaimed film director. What do you think Episode VII would have looked like if it was directed by David Fincher?