Can you imagine what a David Fincher Star Wars movie would look like? It turns out, Lucasfilm wanted to know, but it’s never going to happen. That’s right, David Fincher did indeed meet with Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy at one point about directing a Star Wars movie, but he passed on the opportunity because it scared him. Here’s what he had to say about it.
“No, 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.”
David Fincher confirmed back in 2014 that he was approached to direct The Force Awakens. It’s unclear if he was ever approached to direct Star Wars: The Last Jedi or the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX, which sees J.J. Abrams returning to the director’s chair, after very successfully helming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He may have been in contention to direct one of the spin-offs as well, but that’s not happening. So why did he pass on the job? Ultimately, David Fincher just didn’t think that doing one of these Star Wars sequels, which come with a tremendous amount of pressure, was worth giving up two years of his life over.
“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.”
Historically, David Fincher is not a guy that makes franchise movies. He’s an auteur director, and Lucasfilm has not had luck with those directors during the Disney era. They’ve parted ways with Josh Trank (Boba Fett movie), Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Solo: A Star Wars Story) and Colin Trevorrow (Star Wars: Episode IX). Granted, Trevorrow definitely has proved he can make a blockbuster with Jurassic World, but his other work is much less in line with a Star Wars movie. So David Fincher passing on a Star Wars movie, which he talked more about on The Empire Podcast, makes sense. However, he is trying his hand at a franchise with World War Z 2, but that is still being put together as we speak.