Brad Bird On Turning Down ‘Star Wars’, Ideas For ‘The Incredibles 2′

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1952 Brad Bird Brad Bird On Turning Down Star Wars, Ideas For The Incredibles 2

Brad Bird may not have been a household name a few years ago, but he’s well on his way now. After leading the charge on Pixar’s The Incredibles before the shift to live-action with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Bird’s connections to both Disney and producer Kathleen Kennedy meant that when word of Star Wars: Episode VII got out, his name topped the list.

Rumors that Bird’s upcoming film Tomorrowland was in fact Episode VII in disguise were dashed when J.J. Abrams was handed the reins to the Star Wars name, but now the director is now opening up about what almost was, and how his work with Pixar may be far from over.

In speaking with THR, Bird confirmed that he was approached to direct Star Wars: Episode VII before producer Kathleen Kennedy convinced Abrams to take the job. Bird explained that it wasn’t pressure that caused him to pass on the opportunity, while hinting his next film will be one to watch out for:

“I’ve known Kathy for a while and I know George. And they did come to me. But the problem was, the schedule they had in mind made it impossible to do…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 Cameron or 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.”

Brad Bird Star Wars Incredibles 2 Brad Bird On Turning Down Star Wars, Ideas For The Incredibles 2

So far almost nothing is known about Tomorrowland beyond a title and its sci-fi slant, but Bird’s commitment to making it a reality certainly speaks volumes about its potential. His recent flair for both action and large-scale blockbusters hasn’t just gotten Tom Cruise’s stamp of approval, but has clearly landed him within Disney’s inner circle of directors – an elite group, to say the least. With his vision for Mission: Impossible proving to not only be successful, but offer arguably the most action-packed installment yet, there’s no reason to think a Brad Bird-helmed Star Wars film isn’t a very real possibility.

Given his past collaborations with Kennedy, who – make no mistake – is the one with the keys to Star Wars in her pocket, and the fact that he’s already been considered, it seems a no-brainer. If Tomorrowland turns out to be a hit for the studio, we’d expect an announcement fairly soon after release, if not before. Of course, Bird may have another film in mind if he’s going to be returning to past franchises.

With sequels coming for both Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo, it was only a matter of time before Bird was asked if a follow-up to The Incredibles was just a pipe-dream for fans, or a very real possibility. It should come as no surprise given just how good the superhero/family film was, but Bird reveals that the thought of a sequel has occurred to him:

“I have been thinking about it. People think that I have not been, but I have. Because I love those characters and love that world. I am stroking my chin and scratching my head. I have many, many elements that I think would work really well in another [Incredibles] film, and if I can get ‘em to click all together, I would probably wanna do that.

“I like the idea of moving a little more quickly in films. I’m looking for ways to accelerate the pace a little bit and figure out a way to keep creative control over these movies to a level where I’m comfortable with the end result but also speed them up a bit and make more of them. I have many different films I wanna make. It’s like a big airplane hangar and I have different projects on the floor; half-assembled in my brain. I’m interested in all of them. You kind of have to move on the ones people are willing to pay for and the ones you’re most excited about.”

The Incredibles Sequel Ideas Brad Bird On Turning Down Star Wars, Ideas For The Incredibles 2

The ability to pick up the pace or delegate authority to get films completed is something Bird would be wise to learn, with Disney’s movie-making business set to pick up steam in a big way. To the Comic-Con crowd, placing a Marvel, Star Wars, or Pixar film in the hands of Brad Bird would be one of the safest bets around; only time will tell which, if any, comes first.

Do you hope to see Bird offered the chance at a Star Wars movie in the future? If so, would you like him to share the burden of numbered ‘Episodes’ with Abrams, or take over a spin-off film instead? Neither? Sound off in the comments.

Tomorrowland opens in theaters on December 19th, 2014.


Source: THR

‘Pixar Leia’ Art by Phil Postma

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. No reason he couldn’t do Episode VIII down the road, unless J.J. really nails VII and they want him to do the trilogy or something.

  2. more incredibles!!!

  3. incredibles is a prequel id like to see

    • the article says sequel.. a prequel would be fine but I’d rather see the family pick up from where we left off. they take down the underminer in an exciting opening sequence, then theres some other foe that they gotta defeat. I want it to happen soooo bad!! that would be awesome.

      • They actually already took down the Underminer in a follow- up comic.

  4. I think the new trilogy should have one director per entry, with Alfonso Cuaron taking 8 and Bird providing an awesome conclusion with hints at an episode 10.

    • That is a phenomenal idea. Who knows, maybe Bird told Kathleen Kennedy to come talk to him in a few years….or maybe they even set something up for Episode 8 or 9, and just cant talk about it right now.

      While I think Abrams was a great choice for Episode 7, Bird would also make a great Star Wars movie.

      • Or he could always ho one of the many rumored “one-offs” or films that exists with the SWU but arent the main episodes. I still like the young yoda/seven samurai take that was mentioned a while back

        • With the two spin offs that are being written currently, I dont know if Bird would be ready to do those at that point. I could be completely wrong.

          I wanted to see that Seven Samurai story too, that would be excellent. But if I remember correctly, that rumor was shot down. And wasnt that a Zack Snyder idea? He will be pretty damn busy with the MoS trilogy to do much else, especially something as demanding as a Star Wars movie.

  5. The Incredibles sequel film I’d like to see is one where all the heroes who were shunned before the first film need to return because they need the might of several heroes to defeat a cunning enemy.

    Pretty much an animated Avengers.

    • Incredibles WAS an animated avengers. Thats what made it sooo awesome! It was a full fledged superhero universe.. Good idea for your plot synopsis, bring back the fam and frozone and add in some new (or old) faces for good measure.

      • The Ultimate Avengers IS the animated Avengers 😉

      • Thanks.

  6. Agree with 11 above. One director per film sounds right to give then each their own feel. But id be more excited about another incredibles movie be it a prequel or sequel. For my money, The Incredibles is the best super hero movie that’s been made.

  7. Oh man. I would be so incredibly excited to have Bird direct a Star Wars film. Delirious, almost. I respect his decision to stick with Tomorrowland, but I truly hope that Kennedy hires him for a future installment. (Somewhat similar thoughts with regard to Joss Whedon, who is also too busy right now.) I hope that JJ Abrams does a good job, but I would like to see someone else take it for VIII.

  8. Even though I’d love see see a sequel to The Incredibles I’m at a point where I want to see more of Mr. Bird’s live-action work.
    We really know nothing about Tommorowland but it’s already high on my must see of 2014 list just because of Bird and if that’s a success it makes the timing perfect for him to direct Episode 8.

  9. I wonder if this also means that he wouldn’t be able to direct the next Star Trek movie in place of JJ Abrams? I almost think I’d rather see him do that. And as many Incredibles sequels as he can get his hands on. :)

  10. I believe Bird should direct the Han Solo spin off and I hope The Incredibles 2 goes into production.

  11. I’m very much anticipating an ‘Incredibles’ sequel now.

  12. Whatever Tomorrowland is, I’m going to watch it because I have faith in Bird’s work. I also really wish they do another Incredibles with Bird at the helm…

    • Everyone does.

    • Here, here, Ken.

  13. The man gets it. He’s got the touch. I’d trust him to handle anything from Star Wars, Marvel to Mamet and Shakespeare well.

  14. Brad Bird is a freaking unsung legend. This guy’s been behind the scenes of some of the most critically acclaimed animated movies dating back to the 70’s. It’s good to see him getting some long overdue recognition. I think he played it smart by passing on Star Wars. There’s a lot (almost too much) riding on that.

  15. I loved Incredibles. But I wouldn’t want a sequel. It would be like “Cars 2″ or “Lion King 2″. Just a cash grab. It will draw in crowds because of the name but probably wont be near as good. Im glad Bird feels that way too. He doesn’t seem like he wants to do it but he states he has ideas. Id rather let him be creative and make his own stuff instead of sequels and reboots, which most people complain about anyways.

    • Not all sequels are cash grabs (though the two you mention certainly were). Sometimes, enough time has passed and fans just want to see what certain beloved characters have been up to. Such was the case with Toy Story 3 and is for the upcoming Finding Dory. An Incredibles sequel is quite welcome in the eyes of most fans, including myself. As a matter of fact, I’ve always felt that due to the nature of it’s superhero/comic book motif, The Incredibles had the most sequel potential out of all of Pixar’s properties.

  16. “I like the idea of moving a little more quickly in films. I’m looking for ways to accelerate the pace a little bit and figure out a way to keep creative control over these movies to a level where I’m comfortable with the end result but also speed them up a bit and make more of them.”


    As much talent as you have at… well… everything. You NEED to be a creative Executive Producer with power, funding, and a ton of projects to manage.

    You know the talent landscape of your field. Recruit the best, because the best will want to work with you. We need you behind the green-light more than behind the camera.

  17. Though I have enjoyed his movies, I dont understand all of the hype behind Brad Bird. One live-action movie under his belt, right? How do we know that he is as good as people say? I feel like there is something about him that I dont currently know, or some project he has done that I havent seen…

    Iron Giant, Incredibles, Ratatouille, Ghost Protocol…am I missing something here, guys?

    • It was only one live action movie, but it was a blockbuster and a sequel in a dwindling franchise that succeeded in revitalizing it for a new decade. That is pretty much the type of director they were looking for for Star Wars. I actually felt Ghost Protocol was the best entry in the series. Maybe it was only one movie, but the proof is in the pudding, as they say.

      • Dwindling franchise? I thought that MI3 was great. Definitely better than MI2.

        • World wide box office take dropped almost $150 million from 2 to 3. Jumped almost $300 million from 3 to 4.

          • While box office numbers arent everything, that is surprising to me, the drop off from 2 to 3. What isnt surprising is a jump from 3 to 4. With ticket prices already being higher than they were then, and the fact that Ghost Protocol was shown, and shot, in IMAX, it is only right that it made the most money.

            • Oh, and also, overall critical reception jumped from 70% to 93% on Rotten Tomatoes as well as user reception from 69% to 85%. Now, I’m not saying that M:I 3 was a bad film, I enjoyed it as well, I’m just saying on all counts, Brad Bird seems to have made a superior film on his first attempt at live action film making.

  18. There is a lot of potential for a sequel here.  Because more than ten years will have passed by the time this movie is released, you could have Violet now be married with a baby creating a new family dynamic.  How does Helen and Bob handle being grandparents?  Does Violet’s husband know about her secret identity?  Maybe Dash is away at college or starting a career and he doesn’t realize he is getting involved with a team of supervillains.  He could then reject them after finding out.  In the third act, they could proposition Jack Jack, who is already alienated from the lack of attention he is receiving over the new baby and because his super powers seem to be much more powerful when compared to the other members of the family.  I could see that.

  19. I long to see Incredibles 2. You see The Incredibles Ratatouille and Cars were written by me James Mcfadden. AND I STILL HAVE INCREDIBLES 2 and I know Pixar never got it.
    So this will be Brad and Pixars own work……Cannot wait. The truth always catches up
    and for me that cannot come quickly enough.