David Fincher almost directed a Star Wars saga film, and the director revealed why he passed on the opportunity after meeting with Lucasfilm. There are very few movie franchises that rival Star Wars in terms of audience draw, so people – whether actors, filmmakers or others who work behind-the-scenes – try to board a project in the series. However, Fincher is one who actually turned down the opportunity to helm a saga film.
Fincher’s name was thrown in the mix of possible filmmakers who could helm a Star Wars film following its re-emergence via Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But, Fincher didn’t direct Star Wars and the directing job went to J.J. Abrams. Now, Fincher explains what has kept him from the massive franchise, recalling that time that he was almost booked to direct an episodic offering.
Speaking to Empire, Fincher opened up about passing up on the chance direct a Star Wars project, explaining that while the gig was really lucrative, he had some reservations with regard to the massive expectation that comes with it:
“I talked to [producer Kathleen Kennedy] about that and look, it’s a plum assignment. I don’t know what’s worse: being George Lucas on the set of the first one where everyone’s going, ‘Alderaan? What the hell is this?’ Where everyone’s making fun, but I can’t imagine the kind of intestinal fortitude one has to have following up the success of these last two. That’s a whole other level. One is that you have to endure the withering abuse of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, and the other is you have to live up to a billion or a billion-five, and that becomes its own kind of pressure.
You’d have to really clear your head, I think. You’d have to really be sure this is what you wanted to do because either way it’s two years of your life, 14 hours a day, seven days a week.”
The bubbling anticipation for the movies currently lined up in the Lucasfilm docket such as the next two saga films, (Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: Episode IX, and the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story spin-off also come with high expectations for the actors, producers, and the director to deliver. Fincher’s decision is totally understandable as sometimes you have to also consider how comfortable you are in undertaking a project regardless of how big the opportunity is. That’s not to say that he would not do well, but he does not feel completely at ease working on such a highly scrutinized production like the Star Wars films.
With his knack for great camera work and a slew of psychological thrillers under his belt, it would have been great to see what he could have come up with for a Star Wars film. Of course, things might change and Fincher may have another chance to take Kennedy’s offer to direct a movie set in the galaxy far, far away. In the meantime, we can catch his work on the recently released Netflix series Mindhunter and the upcoming World War Z 2.
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