64th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards - Feature Film Symposium
Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

In a recent interview with Empire, David Fincher got frank about why he’s not looking to direct a Star Wars movie in the near future.

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker discussed his being in the running to direct The Force Awakens, which was ultimately helmed by J.J. Abrams, and why he chose not to take the daunting challenge on. He said he spoke with Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy about the job at the time, admitting that while “it’s a plum assignment,” he’s not necessarily interested in that sort of franchise filmmaking.

“I can’t imagine the kind of intestinal fortitude one has to have following up the success of these last two,” he said, referencing The Force Awakens and Rogue One. “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.”

Several filmmakers have struggled along those lines. Original Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow stepped down from the upcoming film in September, in the wake of his critical bomb The Book of Henry and amid creative differences with Lucasfilm, leaving Abrams to take over. And earlier this year, directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired from the upcoming Han Solo movie, and replaced by Ron Howard.

“You’d have to really clear your head, I think,” Fincher told Empire of taking on a Star Wars film. “You’d have to really be sure this is what you wanted to do because either way it’s two years of your life, 14 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Listen to Fincher’s interview above. (His Star Wars remarks begin about 39 minutes in.)

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