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Guillermo Del Toro Says He Was Approached For 'Star Wars: Episode 7,' Would Have Loved To See Brad Bird Direct The Sequel

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 7, 2013 at 9:16AM

Easily one of the biggest pieces of movie news that arrived in 2012 was the announcement that more "Star Wars" sequels were on the way. And heading into 2013, it's still on everyone's mind, even though "Star Wars: Episode 7" isn't due into theaters until 2015. What we know already is that Michael Arndt is writing the script, but the million dollar question remains: who is going to direct? Numerous big names -- J.J. Abrams, Steven Spielberg and more -- have taken themselves out of the race, and another who politely declined the gig was an early fan favorite: Guillermo Del Toro.
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Star Wars Guillermo Del Toro Brad Bird

Easily one of the biggest pieces of movie news that arrived in 2012 was the announcement that more "Star Wars" sequels were on the way. And heading into 2013, it's still on everyone's mind, even though "Star Wars: Episode 7" isn't due into theaters until 2015. What we know already is that Michael Arndt is writing the script, but the million dollar question remains: who is going to direct? Numerous big names -- J.J. Abrams, Steven Spielberg and more -- have taken themselves out of the race, and another who politely declined the gig was an early fan favorite: Guillermo Del Toro.

Back in November the director said "they haven’t formally approached me," but when The Playlist sat down with Del Toro recently, he revealed that he did get a call about the job. "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..." he said, explaining that he ultimately turned it down.

With numerous directing, producing and writing projects in the works, Del Toro made it clear that his own slate is full enough to keep him occupied, but he was still pleased to be approached. "It was very flattering," he said, adding: "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."

The director also ruled out the possibility of helming any of the proposed/rumored spinoffs as well. So who should take on the sequel? Del Toro believes it should be a filmmaker who can really dedicate themselves to the franchise, and he has his own suggestion. "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.

And who wouldn't? But as fans already know, Bird has already said he won't be doing it, and has his own upcoming, mysterious "1952" brewing with George Clooney set to lead. So file this piece of trivia away under What Could Have Been, as we continue to await Disney's announcement on who will take us to a place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.... -- reporting by Drew Taylor

This article is related to: Guillermo del Toro, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens, Brad Bird


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