STEVEN SPIELBERG Ha! Oh shit, George! Midichlorians? Good one!
  • STEVEN SPIELBERG "Ha! Oh shit, George! 'Midichlorians'? Good one!"

So this is weird. Nobody wants to direct Star Wars.

"No! No! It's not my genre. It's my best friend George's genre." —Steven Spielberg, who has, weirdly, directed many, many films in Star Wars' genre, and who once upon a time really, really wanted to direct a Star Wars movie

"Look, Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time. The opportunity for whomever it is to direct that movie, it comes with the burden of being that kind of iconic movie and series. I was never a big Star Trek fan growing up, so for me, working on Star Trek didn't have any of that almost fatal sacrilege. I am looking forward more than anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!" —J.J. Abrams

“No, sorry. Especially if Disney’s going to do it. I’m not interested in the Simon West version of Star Wars.” —Quentin Tarantino, being awesome (seriously, I love Star Wars, and I love Tarantino, but whoever thinks Tarantino should direct a Star Wars is probably insane)

“I don’t think I’d be interested in directing it. I’m a huge Star Wars fanatic. I just think doing [episodes] seven, eight and nine is just a slippery slope. It’s a whole other mythological experiment I’m excited to see, but it’s a lot of effort.” —Zack Snyder

Right now the rumors are that the top contenders are Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class) and Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens), who's basically begging for the job, and a whole lot of nerds won't shut up about Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol). Those all sound accurate to me, by which I mean safe: Disney's gonna pick someone they can boss around, and someone who'll make mainstream audiences like Star Wars again so that that Disney's marketing department can move past the stigma of the prequels. I'd also say Joe Johnston is a dark horse—he's worked with producer Kathleen Kennedy before, he worked on the original Star Wars movies, and he had a big success with Captain America. Then again, everything he directs has the feel of a cheap TV movie (which to be fair, in cases like Jurassic Park III, that can be fun), so it's likely they'll go with someone who's better with scale. That's probably the same reason the heartening rumor about Colin Trevorrow being considered probably won't go anywhere: Safety Not Guaranteed was phenomenal, but they'll likely go with someone who has more experience with blockbusters.

Personally, I feel like there are two directors who could nail the pacing, action, charm, spectacle, and humor that made the original Star Wars films so much fun. They are Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim) and Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom, Looper). Neither of them will get this job, but I wish like hell one of 'em would.