With the current expansion of the Star Wars universe, there are a lot of movies in need of people to work on them. Given how beloved the franchise is, there are a ton of people willing to pitch in however they can. But then there are those who want nothing to do with it, and count among those ranks writer Damon Lindelof.
Lindelof is doing the press rounds at the moment for Disney’s Tomorrowland, which he co-wrote with director Brad Bird. Talking to Screen Crush, the subject of another Disney-owned property came up, Star Wars. When asked if he has any interest in taking a turn around that far, far away galaxy, he replied:
I’m committed to a space of trying to make something more original. That doesn't come with the intense focus of "Jesus, Lindelof, don't fuck this up too." If it’s an original piece, I fucked up my own thing, which I've also been accused of, mind you. But, it would be immensely distracting to the fans, for my name to be involved in the franchise at this stage.
It’s hard to argue with the points he makes here. As tempting as it would be to work on a Star Wars film, the whole world is waiting for you to fall on your face. Especially following the widely derided prequels—don’t worry, I know there are fans out there, but the larger consensus surrounding those films is negative—people are going to be watching you like a hawk. And as far as The Force Awakens is concerned, that’s the one that’s relaunching the entire universe, post-Disney buyout, so, as you probably know, there has been a laser focus on every last detail. That’s a lot of pressure.
And he’s right, as busy as he is with big movies in Hollywood, Lindelof catches a lot of flak for his work on everything from Lost to Star Trek Into Darkness and Prometheus. That’s a whole different kind of weight to carry into a project, and you can understand him wanting to avoid that and focus on his own things. He did state for the record, however, that he has never had any conversations, formal or informal, about working on Star Wars.
That said, he totally understands the draw of Star Wars. Tomorrowland director and co-writer Brad Bird was one name that was kicked around a lot in regards to the directing job on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He was reportedly offered the gig while the two were working on their upcoming adventure, and even though it could have meant the end of Tomorrowland, or at least a massive delay, Lindelof says he told Bird to do it, adding:
I just don’t know how you say no to that.
That would be a hard one to pass up on, but for his part, Lindelof seems satisfied with his current path. Tomorrowland opens wide this weekend, and though its getting mixed reviews, there are still those singing its praises. And for Star Wars fans, The Force Awakens hits theaters December 18.