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The biggest entertainment news story last year was Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise. We’ve been waiting to hear word on who would direct the upcoming Episode VII since Disney announced they would make a new sequel trilogy back in October. Apparently, director Guillermo del Toro was offered the Star Wars job but respectfully turned it down because he was “busy enough.”
According to the Playlist, del Toro received a phone call from Disney when they first started looking for candidates to helm Episode VII. While del Toro said it “was very flattering” to get the call for Star Wars, he had to decline because of his numerous projects in the works. Del Toro explains:
We got one phone call to my agent saying, ‘Is Guillermo interested?’ And basically I have so much stuff already of my own, and I’m pursuing stuff that I’m generating already … It was just a phone call, it didn’t go past that, it was very nice to be asked, but believe it or not, I’m busy enough.
While del Toro would’ve been a fine pick to take up the Star Wars mantle, his plate is definitely full. He’s got the epic robots vs. monsters flick hitting this summer — and the sequel is already greenlit — he’s producing the horror movie Mama, which comes out later this month, and his name has been mentioned in connection to some half dozen other projects, depending on which day you ask.
We wouldn’t blame Del Toro if he was hesitant to commit to another big franchise, either. After all, del Toro was originally attached to direct The Hobbit for Warner Bros. but after two years of work and lots of wheel spinning, he left the production to work on other projects. [And honestly, I’d much prefer to see del Toro continuing to make cool movies he’s excited about than playing in somebody else’s sandbox. – Ed.]
The Mexican director does offer up his own choice for the Episode VII gig: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol director Brad Bird. “I think the fans deserve somebody that is just going to immerse themselves completely. As a geek, I would have loved to see Brad Bird take it,” he said. Unfortunately, Brad Bird had already declined to take the Episode VII job in favor of working on the mysterious 1952 movie he co-wrote with Prometheus screenwriter Damon Lindelof.
Screenwriter Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) is penning the script for Episode VII, and it’s targeting a 2015 release date.