Today we learned that J.J. Abrams is, according to J.J. Abrams, officially not going to be directing Disney's new, possibly ill-advised seventh episode of the Star Wars franchise. While we already know who is going to be involved with the writing of three new movies, the director duties are still very much up in the air, even if an announcement could be coming soon. So who's on the short list? Well, it's a long list, really — almost every single director who has made a single hit in the science fiction, action, or fantasy genres is rumored to be rumored that people hope they'll maybe get the job, possibly. Here we break down the chances of some of those names actually taking on the job: Who doesn't want to do it, who hasn't been contacted yet, and who might still be a possibility to try and not ruin Star Wars.
Definitely Not Directing Star Wars Episode VII
- J.J. Abrams: The Star Trek director is not adding another franchise with the word Star in the title to his resumé. He told Empire Magazine, via the Hollywood Reporter: "I declined any involvement very early on. I'd rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them."
- Brad Bird: The latest installment of the saga isn't going to be particularly animated, either. The director of The Incredibles has also said no.
- Colin Trevorrow: The man who helmed indie Safety Not Guaranteed talked to the Hollywood Reporter about how astonished he was that his name was even being floated: "It’s not going to be me for Episode VII, and I can’t believe I’ve actually had to come out and say that."
- Zack Snyder: Snyder, who is taking on Superman, does not want to tread on any other beloved characters.
- Quentin Tarantino: It's too Disney for the man who specializes in blood and curse words.
- Steven Spielberg: The Lincoln director may have done one Lucas franchise, but he's not doing this one: "It's not my genre," he told Access Hollywood. "It's my best friend George's genre."
- George Lucas: Perhaps the most obvious person who is not going to direct this thing is the creator of the franchise itself.
Probably Not Directing Star Wars Episode VII
- Guillermo del Toro: For the Pacific Rim director, directing the Star Wars film is not a real consideration... since no one has actually talked to him about doing it, as he told Fanhattan: "You know, I saw it on the Internet, but I haven’t approached them, they haven’t formally approached me. [Ed. note: Emphasis on “formally” is Del Toro's.] I mean, I heard some rumblings, but to me it’s really — I have so many projects to discuss or think about. [For] something that is not a possibility yet, I don’t do that. You know, because I have so many things that I need to catch up with. If this becomes ever a reality, and there’s an approach to do it, I would then think about it, but — it’s like thinking if I want to date a supermodel. I don’t think about these things."
- Joseph Kosinski: The man behind Oblivion and TRON: Legacy also hasn't talked to LucasFilm, he told MTV: "For me, I feel like, between 'Tron' and 'Oblivion,' I've gotten to fulfill my 'Star Wars' fantasies, in a way. It's flattering of you to mention, but like everyone else, I'm interested to see where they take it. I actually know the writer [Michael Arndt] on it very well; he's a fantastic writer, and I think he's perfect for the job, so I'm sure it will be a great story, and I can't wait to see what they do with it."
Maybe Still in the Running to Direct Star Wars Episode VII
- Matthew Vaughn: Some believed that actor Jason Flemyng let it slip that Vaughn, who directed X-Men: First Class, Kick-Ass, and Stardust, was the one for the job in an interview, but we're not sure this is an actual confirmation or just a case of a hungry media wanting answers.
- Jon Favreau: Mike Fleming at Deadline wrote that Favreau is "panting after this job." The Iron Man director also has been genuinely enthusiastic when talking about the project: “The idea of another trilogy that further shrouds the Force in mystery as its secrets are lost to time – that’s extremely compelling,” Favreau told Entertainment Weekly. “I want so bad for it to be good. Can you imagine?”
- David Fincher: Well, this would be an interesting choice. Fleming also wrote that Fincher "might be game."
And the Rest
- Some of the other names that have been floated include Darren Aronofsky, Alfonso Cuarón, Neill Blomkamp, Gore Verbinski, and Joss Whedon.