55-year old filmmaker David Fincher is considered one of the top artists in Hollywood. Having helmed the 1992 sequel Alien 3 before overseeing the 1995 smash hit thriller Se7en, the director continued to build an impressive portfolio and carve his own niche in the industry.
It would seem a logical progression in his journey then to take charge of a project like Star Wars, integrating his unique sensitivity and style to the grandest of franchises. Opening up on The Empire Podcast, the Golden Globe winner admitted that the weight of expectation would have been too much to handle on his own shoulders.
Force Did Not Awaken Fincher's Enthusiasm For 2015 Blockbuster
The 2015 feature Star Wars: The Force Awakens would end up in the lap of J.J. Abrams, a man accustomed to rebooting and retooling classic series for modern audiences. For Fincher, the discussion with Lucasfilm only ventured so far before his own fear and insecurities set in.
"No, I talked to (producer Kathleen Kennedy) about that and look, it's a plum assignment," he recalled. "I don't know what's worse: being George Lucas on the set of the first one where everyone's going, 'Alderaan? What the hell is this?' Where everyone's making fun, but I can't imagine the kind of intestinal fortitude one has to have following up the success of these last two. 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."
The Middle of a Trilogy Is The Ideal Job: DF
Abrams would deliver a movie that scored a staggering $2.068b at the box office two years ago, leaving Rian Johnson the task of following that record for 2017's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Fincher said that if he could have taken charge of that installment, coming in halfway through a trilogy, that might have been the ideal scenario.
"I think (The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner) had the best job," he argued. "He had a pretty great script and he had the middle story. 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 reveal. You'd have to really clear your head, I think. 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."