Cast an eye over Brad Bird’s back catalogue and it’s easy to understand why the burgeoning filmmaker was initially one of the directors touted to helm Star Wars: Episode VII. Ultimately, it was J.J. Abrams’ name that was picked from Disney’s hat, but that doesn’t mean Bird was in close contention at one stage. And now, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the director reveals the reason why he turned his back on a galaxy far, far away.
Speaking about Star Wars: Episode VII, here’s what Bird had to say:
“I’ve known Kathy [Kennedy] for a while and I know George. 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.…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.”
Alas, scheduling conflicts have kept Brad Bird from placing his stamp on the Star Wars universe. Given that the filmmaker is collaborating with Damon Lindelof for his science fiction production Tomorrowland – previously known as 1952, the film will star George Clooney and Hugh Laurie and is poised for release in 2014 – it’s rather admirable that the director retained a sense of loyalty to his own original project.
And hey, now that Star Wars will mutate into an annualised franchise following Episode VII, perhaps Bird will get a shot at the galactic universe in due time. With an illustrious, cinematic rapport with Disney – which has produced films such as Ratatouille and The Incredibles – it’s logical that the studio want to continue their relationship with Bird, and that may someday come in the form of a sequel to The Incredibles according to the director himself.
“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.”
A sequel to The Incredibles isn’t exactly far-fetched. The animation genre is perhaps one of Disney’s richest properties in terms of tangible characters and considering that Andrew Stanton is pushing ahead with a Finding Nemo follow-up, The Incredibles 2 is a distinct possibility, even if it remains on the shelf for some time yet.
What are your thoughts on Bird’s response to Star Wars: Episode VII? Would you like to see him helm a Star Wars movie in the future, or would you rather he focuses on The Incredibles 2? Let us know below!