The first bit of news surrounding "Star Wars Episode VII" in 2013 is once again a bit of non-news, as another candidate has said he won't direct the film. This time, it's Guillermo del Toro turning down the opportunity to helm the much-anticipated sequel.
In an interview with The Playlist, Del Toro revealed that his agent did receive a phone call from Lucasfilm to gauge his interest. However, the director decided not to pursue the gig, citing his already busy schedule.
This doesn't come as much surprise to anyone who has been following Del Toro's career in recent years; while he just now wrapped up "Pacific Rim" (which is due out this summer), he's already currently attached to numerous projects, including "Crimson Peak," "The Haunted Mansion," and a "Pinocchio" project.
Back in November, Del Toro did say he would listen if Lucasfilm ever came calling, but he wasn't concerned with it at the time. As it turns out, it did eventually happen, but it doesn't seem like he was ever very interested in taking the job.
He did, however, reveal who he would like to see direct the film: Brad Bird, who has also removed himself from consideration since he's working on "1952," a secretive project that he's set up at Disney with Damon Lindelof.
As such, Del Toro joins Bird and "Star Trek" director J.J. Abrams as big names who have said they won't direct "Star Wars: Episode VII." If nothing else, this at least reveals what sort of candidates Kathleen Kennedy is seeking, as she hasn't shied away from approaching the big guns in the geek movie universe.
Since the film is due for release in 2015, one would expect Lucasfilm to nail down a director soon. It's had Michael Arndt working on the screenplay for the past few months, so production should be underway by the end of the year.