Ewan McGregor Cancels Directorial Debut Project

It's something that happens all the time in Hollywood, and something every writer dreads. You've fallen in love with a story idea, come up with the perfect way to realize that story on screen...and then you find out somebody else is already making the movie. It's not a phenomenon limited to armchair screenwriters as an excuse for not finishing their scripts either; it happened to Ewan McGregor.

The Scottish actor was planning to make his directorial debut on a movie about a 1968 yacht race. He had been researching the real-life story, he planned to pen the script himself, and he was even going to work on the project with his wife, production designer Eve Mavrakis. Then he found out that great minds think alike, and some other great mind had already bogarted his idea. He told Nylon Guys Magazine: "My wife was going to design it, I wasn't going to be in it. And then I found out someone else is doing it. I was gutted."

McGregor has apparently been toying with the idea of directing for a while now. In an interview with the Santa Monica Mirror last June, he joked,

"The real reason I would like to direct is so that I can turn up at work and not take off my clothes. It seems like every day I turn up for work I have to take off my clothes and put on someone else's clothes so it would be quite nice to just wear my own clothes all day."

On a more serious note, McGregor said that he wasn't interested in directing just for the hell of it, but that he wanted to find a particular story that fascinated him enough to justify settling into the director's chair. As he said at the time, "I'm still waiting for that story to find me."

Sadly, that story won't be the yacht-race tale that had intrigued him, but hopefully he'll find something else that catches his attention. He definitely hasn't given up on the idea of directing. He told the magazine, "I think it would be so fascinating and satisfying. But I don't pretend... I would be starting right at the bottom."

In the mean time, you'll be able to see McGregor in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, opening March 9th, 2012, and Haywire, opening January 20th.