Brad Bird, the director of The Incredibles and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, has become the latest high-profile film-maker to rule himself out of the running for the new Star Wars film.
Bird made the comment via Twitter in response to a fan who asked him to respond to reports that he was top of producers' wishlist for Star Wars Episode 7. The new film is due in 2015 and follows Disney's $4.05bn purchase of Lucasfilm and all rights to the long-running space opera last month.
When a follower tweeted, "Tell me your next one is the new Star Wars!", Bird replied: "Nope. A science fiction film. Not Star Wars." He later added: "That said, Michael Arndt is a fantastic writer and Kathy Kennedy is a brilliant producer. I will be first in line to see the new Star Wars."
Arndt, the Oscar-winning writer of Toy Story, was announced as the screenwriter for Episode 7 last week. Kathleen Kennedy is the newly appointed head of Lucasfilm following the Disney purchase and Star Wars creator George Lucas's decision to step away from the series.
British director Matthew Vaughn was recently rumoured to be in talks to helm the first film in the new trilogy, while Steven Spielberg and Star Trek's JJ Abrams have also ruled themselves out. The stars of the original trilogy, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Harrison Ford (Han Solo), have all been tipped to return to the series.
According to the new edition of US magazine Entertainment Weekly, Kennedy recently told Lucasfilm employees that she wanted to see two to three new films every year, a production line that would bring the unit in sync with prolific comic-book movie studio Marvel Studios. The latter firm, which oversaw the $1.5bn The Avengers earlier this year, is also owned by Disney.
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