Brad Bird Admits Busy Schedule Led to Passing on ‘Star Wars’ Directing Gig

Kara Warner
Movie Talk

A not so long time ago in a galaxy in which we all reside, it seemed like every capable director with either a successful superhero or action movie on his resume seemed to be making headlines as a potential director for the new "Star Wars" movies. At the time, the news about narrowing the search was almost as exciting as the news of the new movies and the excitement surrounding the project hasn't slowed, even after J.J. Abrams was eventually named director.

Now that the dust has settled a bit, a few of the candidates have spoken out about why they passed on the monumental opportunity, including "Incredibles" and "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" helmer Brad Bird. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bird admitted that producer Kathleen Kennedy and original director George Lucas did come to him to talk about the possibility, but that his schedule was already full with prepping the upcoming and equally buzzworthy project "Tomorrowland."

"The schedule they had in mind made it impossible to do," he told THR of Disney's rigorous filming schedule to meet the summer 2015 release date. "Unless I dropped "Tomorrowland." "And I was just really deeply into this film at that point. It's easy to say, 'Just put it on hold.' But you're moving now; you don't know if you're going to be able to move later. Maybe it's true of filmmakers like [James] Cameron or [Steven] Spielberg, but I have to act on momentum. 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."

And even though Bird is now completely immersed in pre-production on "Tomorrowland," which is being written by "Star Trek Into Darkness" scribe Damon Lindelof and already landed stars George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, he hasn't yet shut the door on a sequel to his Pixar hit, "The Incredibles."

"I have been thinking about it," he admitted. "I have many, many elements that I think would work really well in another film, and if I can get 'em to click all together, I would probably wanna do that."