Beyond bringing a new level of esteem to the animation genre with films like The Incredibles and Ratatouille, director Brad Bird awed audiences and critics alike when he leapt into live action with aplomb in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. His dedication to character building and skill for constructing elaborate and exhilarating action sequences has made him one of the most popular contemporary directors. So, when Star Wars VII was announced, fans were urgently campaigning for Bird to direct. Sadly Bird was quick to admit he was not at work on Episode VII. But in a new interview with THR he reveals he was approached for the coveted gig.
Asked if he was ever actually considered for the project or if that was just internet buzz, Brad confessed:
"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."
It's a blow to hear Bird was so close to directing Star Wars' next adventure, but maybe by the time Episode VIII rolls around his schedule will be a bit more accommodating. In the meantime, he's gearing up for Tomorrowland (formerly titled 1952), a Disney movie that will star George Clooney and Hugh Laurie. The project is taking a cue from the J.J. Abrams School of Mystery Box Tactics, and keeping their plot secret. Though a log line may have surfaced.
But while we wait for this mysterious new movie, how about the possibility for a much clamored for sequel to The Incredibles? Bird is open to is, explaining:
"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 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."
Bird hasn't steered us wrong yet. So while we'd love to see Incredibles 2, we'll grudgingly wait until he's passionate enough to get it going.