6 directors publicly refusing to direct Star Wars: Episode VII [Updated]
From J.J. Abrams to Quentin Tarantino, many of Hollywood's most famous directors have taken pains to disassociate themselves from Disney's upcoming sequel
Star Wars: Episode VII — the legendary sci-fi franchise's next entry, scheduled for release in 2014 — is hardly your typical movie and it's been inciting unusual interest. Indeed, ever since Disney purchased George Lucas' film series and announced the new movie two weeks ago, Star Wars fans have been demanding new info so insistently that a number of high-profile directors have gone on the record to take themselves out of the running for the job. Here, six directors who have confirmed they won't be directing Star Wars: Episode VII:
1. Brad BirdWith last year's Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, which earned the franchise's best-ever reviews, Brad Bird showed that he could take an old franchise and make it feel new again — a strength many had hoped he could bring to the Star Wars franchise. No such luck. When a fan tweeted at Bird on Saturday "Tell me your next one is the new Star Wars!" Bird replied, "Nope. A science fiction film. Not Star Wars." Less than an hour later, he added, "That said, Michael Arndt is a fantastic writer and Kathy Kennedy is a brilliant producer. I will be first in line to see the new Star Wars."
2. J.J. AbramsHe may have resurrected the flagging Star Trek franchise, but J.J. Abrams is content with one geek-friendly sci-fi franchise. "Look, Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time," says Abrams. "I almost feel that, in a weird way, the opportunity for whomever it is to direct that movie, it comes with the burden of being that kind of iconic movie and series. I was never a big Star Trek fan growing up, so for me, working on Star Trek didn't have any of that, you know, almost fatal sacrilege, and so, I am looking forward more than anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!"
3. Steven SpielbergAt Lincoln's premiere in early November, the Indiana Jones director and longtime filmmaking partner of George Lucas dashed the hopes of fans with a preemptive, effusive rejection of the Star Wars job. "No! No! It's not my genre. It's my best friend George's genre," Spielberg said.
4. Quentin TarantinoMany older fans had pegged the Pulp Fiction director as an ideal choice to bring a dark sensibility to the Star Wars franchise, but Quentin Tarantino has taken himself out of the running. "I could so care less," he said. "Especially if Disney's going to do it. I'm not interested in the Simon West version of Star Wars."
5. Zack SnyderThe 300 director has been charged with rebooting Superman in the upcoming Man of Steel, but one iconic franchise is enough for Zack Snyder. "I don't think I'd be interested in [directing it]," said Snyder. "I'm a huge Star Wars fanatic. I just think doing [episodes] seven, eight, and nine is just a slippery slope. It's a whole other mythological experiment I'm excited to see, but it's a lot of effort."
6. George LucasFor any purists hoping that Star Wars creator George Lucas could still be persuaded to pick up the reins of the Star Wars franchise, the director has confirmed that his time in the Star Wars universe has officially come to an end. "I always said I wasn't going to do anymore, and that's true, I'm not going to do anymore," he said.
Editor's note: This article, originally published on Nov. 12, was last updated on Nov. 19.