Brad Bird has firmly established himself as an inventive, exhilarating director with a flair for wild, intricate, and kinetic visuals that play like pure eye-candy with heart—from his animated works (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant, and Ratatouille) to his surprisingly awesome live-action debut with Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol. So it’s no surprise that the director would be at the top of the shortlist to direct the newest Star Wars film, Star Wars: Episode VII But what is interesting is why he turned the gig down… and what may be in store for fans of The Incredibles.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter (via /Film), Bird confirms that he was approached to direct the newest film in the Star Wars franchise. So why’d he turn down the cushy gig (aside from the impossible expectations that would be placed upon him, and that every Star Wars movie since Return of the Jedi has been awful)? Because he was to committed to his Tomorrowland film project:
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.
And once Tomorrowland is over, what could we expect from Bird? Possibly, a sequel to his successful The Incredibles:
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.
So—are you cool with a Bird-less Star Wars: Episode VII in exchange for Tomorrowland (which he seems far more excited by)?