Ever since Brad Bird’s 1999 directorial debut The Iron Giant, it’s been clear the guy is a very talented filmmaker. He continued to hone his skills in the animation world with the terrific Pixar films The Incredibles and Ratatoullie, but in 2011 he attempted to make the leap to live-action—a leap that many before him have tried and failed. But Bird’s talent clearly transcends which visual medium he’s working in, as Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol was not only an impeccably crafted and wonderfully entertaining blockbuster, but also the highest grossing film in the Mission: Impossible franchise to date.
Given the fact that Bird is one of the best filmmakers working today—in both animation and live-action—it’s no secret that he’s being courted for a number of different projects. One that’s been a possibility for a long while is The Incredibles 2, which Pixar officially announced last spring.
When Steve caught up with Bird at the press day for his latest film, the Disney live-action sci-fi adventure pic Tomorrowland, he asked the director for a more specific update on The Incredibles 2, and also broached the prospect of him taking the helm of a Star Wars movie down the line:
With regards to The Incredibles 2, Steve asked the filmmaker for a status update on the script. Does he have pages yet?
“Oh yeah I have pages, a bunch of pages. I had a lot of ideas for the original Incredibles that I didn’t get a chance to use, that I like. I have ideas that I wanted to pursue a little bit and there wasn’t enough time in Incredibles. There are new ideas I have, and I think there are enough of those together to make an interesting movie. I’m just focusing on getting Tomorrowland out into the world and playing with the Incredibles sandbox again.”
So, can Bird confidently say The Incredibles 2 is his next project?
“Yeah it feels like it to me, yeah.”
This is excellent news seeing as Bird has yet to stumble, and no doubt Pixar is happy to bring the filmmaker back into their fold. But before Bird started production on Tomorrowland, there was a very real possibility that he’d be tied up with a franchise of a different sort for a few years: Star Wars.
When the search was on to find a director for Star Wars: Episode VII, producer and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy approached Bird about the prospect of taking the helm. He seriously considered moving forward with production on Tomorrowland while simultaneously prepping Episode VII, but ultimately decided he couldn’t physically do both projects and would rather focus on bringing an original concept like Tomorrowland into the world.
However, with Josh Trank now no longer directing the second Star Wars Anthology film, Steve asked Bird if he might consider taking the helm of that movie, which is currently poised to be released in 2018:
“Well Kathy and I have discussed the possibility of—I mean she’s basically saying this is a very large sandbox and other people can play in it. I was particularly attracted to the idea of picking up and—J.J. got very excited about the notion of shaping the next trilogy, and that idea was interesting to me too. But I kind of—I’m writing a sequel to The Incredibles and I can’t think too much farther beyond that. I have other things I want to do as well.”
So it certainly sounds like the door is still open for Bird to take the helm of some future Star Wars movie down the line, but his primary focus right now is on The Incredibles 2, which could tie up his schedule for the next two to three years. Seemingly catching himself going too deep on Star Wars talk, the director added:
“Yeah in fact just avoid all this Star Wars stuff. Everybody’s feeding too much on that anyway.”
Again, the guy is an undeniably talented filmmaker, and any studio/franchise/sequel would be lucky to have him. Whether he tackles a Star Wars film or another original concept after The Incredibles 2, I’ll be first in line to buy a ticket.
Look for more from Steve’s interview with Bird on Collider soon.