During an interview with Slash Film to promote the release of the nautical survival epic In the Heart of the Sea, Ron Howard has revealed that he was offered the opportunity to direct 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, but decided to turn it down as it would have been “too daunting.”
“[George Lucas] didn’t necessarily want to direct [the prequels],” states Howard. “He told me he had talked to Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg and me. I was the third one he spoke to. They all said the same thing: ‘George, you should do it!’ I don’t think anybody wanted to follow-up that act at the time. It was an honor, but it would’ve been too daunting.”
Howard also went on to discuss why he’s never directed a superhero movie, stating that: “I’ve had opportunities over the years [to make superhero movies],” he shared. “I really feel like you shouldn’t make a movie as a kind of exercise. You have to be all the way in. I was never a comic book guy. I like the movies when I see them, especially the origin stories. I never felt like I could be on the set, at 3 o’clock in the morning, tired, with 10 important decisions to make, and know, intuitively, what the story needs. For me, I’d be copycatting and not inventing. I’ve never said yes to one.”
Howard’s latest film In the Heart of the Sea is set for release on December 11th.