Brad Bird reveals why he passed on directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Dec 17, 2018, 5:00 PM EST (Updated)

Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Tomorrowland) was once one of Disney and Lucasfilm’s top choices to sit in the highly coveted director’s chair for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but he sadly had to pass on the gig of a lifetime. Here’s why.

Back in 2012, Bird was already at the top of a very select list of Hollywood directors Disney wanted to helm their next Star Wars film. It was a list that included David Fincher and Guillermo del Toro, with the job ultimately going to J.J. Abrams. Even though directing a new Star Wars movie would be seen as the chance of a lifetime for many a director, Bird had to turn it down, and he recently explained why. Basically, it all came down to having to choose between Star Wars and his upcoming sci-fi/adventure flick, Tomorrowland. Talking to Yahoo!, the director said:

"It absolutely was [a tough decision]. But there was no way to do that film without junking this film, and we had already gotten George Clooney involved and I was excited about this film. I understand they had to get [The Force Awakens] made, and they would’ve had to push it in order for me to do it."

Brad Bird elaborated a bit more on this comment with IGN, saying that if he hadn’t worked on Tomorrowland there was a good chance that it would never get made, while Star Wars, on the other hand, could very well stand on its own two feet without him:

"I love Star Wars, but Star Wars is going to get made whether I do it or not. They are not going to delay Star Wars in order for me to do Tomorrowland. [In terms of] Tomorrowland, you know momentum is fragile. And we need momentum. There was a lot of momentum on Tomorrowland and I really loved what the movie was. And I thought there's a chance that Tomorrowland wont get made, simply because it loses its momentum. A movie is a weird thing. It's not a tangible thing. You have this wispy cloud that you're trying to solidify and I thought that it deserved to be made. You know, Star Wars is a very robust thing right now and it's going to be fine."

The Incredibles director may have said no to what could be one of the biggest movies of all time (or at the very least, one of the biggest movies of 2015), but Disney still has those spinoff movies set in a galaxy far, far away planned. Could Bird sign on the dotted line for one of the standalone movies — especially since Josh Trank exited one of the projects? Bird recently hinted at the possibility, but didn’t want to give a definite answer to Yahoo! when they asked the question, saying only, "Right now I’m writing Incredibles 2, so I’ve got my hands full!"

What say you? Do you see a Star Wars movie in Brad Bird’s future? 

(via Comic Book Movie)

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