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David Fincher explains why he didn't take on Star Wars

10.20.2017

Disney and Lucasfilm have all the money and resources in the world to lure in some of the best directors working today, so it makes sense they would go after top talent like David Fincher at some point. The Oscar-nominated director has been approached in the past about working on STAR WARS but has since turned it down, leaving most people to demand why he would do such a silly thing. The reality is, taking on something so massive would make the most gifted director stress eat like a beast. 

While speaking to the Empire Podcast as part of the promotion for the Netflix show MINDHUNTER, Fincher reflected on being approached about a STAR WARS project. Though it would no doubt be an honor, all Fincher could do was think about the massive expectations behind taking on any WARS movie and all the anxiety and stress that comes with them:

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.

I think [The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner] had the best job. He had a pretty great script and he had the middle story. He didn’t have to worry about where it started and he didn’t have to worry about where it ended. And he had the great reveal.

 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.

Fincher is not the first person you’d think to take on a massive franchise project, especially after the rough time he had on ALIEN 3 all those years ago. But the director is clearly open to it, given how he’s directing WORLD WAR Z 2 with Brad Pitt. What also wouldn’t help Fincher’s blood pressure is the fact that Lucasfilm seems to have a director problem. Most recently, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were let go from SOLO and replaced with Ron Howard, while Colin Trevorrow was let go from EPISODE IX, and replaced with J.J. Abrams. Fincher is a man with his own vision, and if it didn’t conform to studio notes, he could find himself not getting the freedom he needs.

At the end of the day, seeing a Fincher-directed STAR WARS movie would be something we would all go to a galaxy far, far away to see, but he’s better-suited working on his own projects. GONE GIRL, GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and more have that distinct Fincher style, and he probably wouldn’t be able to bring that to STAR WARS. I would like to hear a STAR WARS movie scored by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, however.

MINDHUNTERS is on Netflix now and STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI arrives December 15.

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