Star Wars 7: Guillermo Del Toro Turned Down the Directing Job—Here's Why

Auteur says despite being asked, he won't be going to a galaxy far far away

By Josh Grossberg Jan 07, 2013 6:18 PMTags
Guillermo del Toro Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Star Wars fans hoping to see Guillermo Del Toro offer up his own imaginative take on George Lucas' famed epic are out of luck.

The director of such creature-heavy fantasy extravaganzas as Pan's Labyrinth and the forthcoming Pacific Rim says he was approached to take the reigns on Star Wars: Episode VII, but had to turn down the gig because he's so busy working on his own projects.

"We got one phone call to my agent saying, 'Is Guillermo interested?'," the 48-year-old Del Toro revealed recently to's The Playlist. "And basically I have so much stuff already of my own, and I'm pursuing stuff that I'm generating already."

The Mexican helmer added that "it was very flattering" to be asked, but noted "it was just a phone call, it didn't go past that."

Del Toro, of course, is no stranger to coming aboard big Hollywood franchises. He was set to direct The Hobbit before bowing out due to ongoing delays caused by MGM's money woes. Peter Jackson subsequently took over (and did quite well!).

So apparently, the idea of getting bogged down in a project he didn't originate had a lot to do with his decision not to make the jump to light-speed with Lucasfilm and Disney, which announced a new installment to the famed film series back in October.

When asked who he'd like to see pilot the upcoming sequel, Guillermo did have one name in mind though: "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."

Alas, the filmmaker behind The Incredibles and Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol took himself out of the running in November when he tweeted that he's directing a sci-fi blockbuster already for Disney called 1952 starring George Clooney.

However, Bird did praise Toy Story 3 scribe Michael Arndt, who is aboard to write the new Star Wars entry.

Another A-list director not in the cards is J.J. Abrams who announced he was sticking with Star Trek out of loyalty to that series. And not that they called him, but Quentin Tarantino wasn't too interested either.