Brad Bird won’t direct Star Wars Episode VII

After a crazy couple of weeks that saw virtually every director in Hollywood linked to the project, the random speculation over who will be the person to helm Disney’s Star Wars Episode VII seems to have abated. Several of the candidates rumoured to be in the frame to succeed George Lucas have since scratched themselves off the internet shortlist, and now fan favourite Brad Bird has decided to follow suit, with the two-time Oscar winner confirming via Twitter that he’s “not doing Star Wars.”

Along with Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) and J.J. Abrams (Star Trek Into Darkness), Bird – whose credits include The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – was said to have been top of Lucasfilm’s wishlist to direct the new Star Wars movie, which is currently being written by Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine). Instead, Bird has confirmed that his next feature will be another sci-fi, the mysterious 1952, which has been penned by Damon Lindelof (Prometheus).

According to producer Frank Marshall, the shortlist for the director’s chair on Episode VII has been narrowed to “a couple”  and with Bird now joining Abrams and Spielberg in denying any interest, the identity of the remaining candidates is anyone’s guess. There has been talk that Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class) and Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) are in contention, while other names that have been banded about include the likes of Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men) and Neill Blomkamp (District 9). Whoever it may be, we should probably expect an official announcement soon if Disney is to meet its planned 2015 release date…