Could Brave Co-Director Brenda Chapman Helm Star Wars: Episode VII?

By Brent McKnight | 8 years ago

When the announcement came down that Disney spent $4 billion to buy LucasFilm, reports included the news that we should expect a new Star Wars trilogy, possibly beginning as early as 2015. In the short time since this proclamation, rampant speculation among fans has exploded. Gossip is flying left and right as we glom onto the most minuscule, inconsequential details, trying desperately to discern anything at all about these movies. An endless parade of writers, directors, and actors have already been linked to Episode VII, primarily by the most tenuous connective threads.

Well, add another log to this fire, and another name to this list. Some on the internet now hypothesize that Brave co-director Brenda Chapman could be up for the directing job. While this doesn’t sound likely at all, for various reasons we’ll get to in just a bit, this is notable because Chapman is one of, if not the first woman mentioned in regards to directing Episode VII.

Here are some of the reasons why people suspect Chapman. She recently left Pixar (leaving a job with little to no notice is seemingly tantamount to signing a contract in this circus). She took a job at LucasFilm. This job at LucasFilm involves working on an animated Star Wars project at a time when we now know that Episode VII was already in the works. Aside from the fact that her story work is well regarded (she worked on both The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast), the case is pretty damn thin.

This tweet from Chapman sparked a great deal of discussion:

Admittedly, that does sound like it’s a possibility, like she knows that maybe she’s at least in the running to direct Episode VII. But you have to think that there’s no way in hell that anyone being seriously considered for this job would make such a statement in such a public forum. As we all know, Twitter is just texting in front of a crowd.

Here’s something to consider. From Chapman’s own blog earlier this year, in her own words, she talks about her departure from Pixar, and her new job at LucasFilm. Here’s something very explicit that she says: “I am not directing.” You might interpret that to mean that she isn’t going to direct Episode VII.

Chapman goes on to say how excited she is to finally get to work with LucasFilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, someone in the industry that she has admired for a long time. For what it’s worth, Kennedy has gone on record previously saying that she wants to work with someone she has worked with before. This looks suspiciously like another hole in the theory.

All of this, coupled with the fact that she has never directed anything with live actors, means that, no matter what anyone else says, I’m not buying the Brenda Chapman as the director of Star Wars: Episode VII just yet. Maybe I’m wrong, but this is a highly unlikely scenario. In her new capacity at LucasFilm it is possible that she could come in to help writer Michael Arndt with the script. That I might believe.