11:10am PT by Ryan Parker
David Fincher Didn't Want the Stress of Directing a 'Star Wars' Film
Helming a Star Wars film is a burden David Fincher did not want to bear.
The Oscar-nominated filmaker was in the running to direct 2015's The Force Awakens (it ultimately went to J.J. Abrams), which he called a "plum assignment." But he recently told Empire on the Empire Film Podcast that he stayed clear of the project because he knew the stress would be too much.
“I can’t imagine the kind of intestinal fortitude one has to have following up the success of the last two or three [films],” Fincher told the podcast. “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.”
Fincher mentioned — somewhat offhandedly — that he "talked to [Lucasfilm's] Kathleen [Kennedy]" about Episode IX, but again, it seems it was a pass as Abrams is back in the seat for that film.
Fincher, who is no stranger to big-budget pics with state-of-the-art special effects, such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, said that in his opinion, Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner was best positioned to undertake a film in the galaxy far, far away.
"He had a pretty great script, and he had the middle story," Fincher said. "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 [Luke's father] reveal."
Ultimately, helming a Star Wars film would just take a sacrifice of too much time and energy, he said.
"You'd have to really clear your head. You'd have to really make sure this is something that you wanted to do," Fincher said. "Either way, it's two years of your life, 14 hours a day, seven days a week. There's no getting around it."
The Star Wars section begins at 42:24 in the podcast, below.