Nowadays, it seems like you only have a few types of filmmakers, those who do blockbusters, those who do indies, and those leftover who are still able to do something in between. One such filmmaker is David Fincher. The man has his fair share of classic films under his belt, no doubt, but even he’s reluctant to hop onto a big franchise film.
Speaking on the Empire Podcast, Fincher discussed why he hasn’t jumped at the idea of directing something like a Star Wars flick, and in his explanation, he points to the constant pressure and time commitment required:
“No, I talked to [producer Kathleen Kennedy] about that and look, it’s a plum assignment. 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.”
“I think [The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner] had the best job. 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.”
There’s also something he didn’t mention, which is the loss of one’s own voice. Of course, if you’re new to the industry, jumping onto a film like Star Wars is often a big pipe dream. But when you’ve been in it for a while, chances are you’ve had chances to develop your own voice, and to have that taken away in service of making $1 billion at the box office is likely to be a bit soul-sucking to someone who’s been able to make a good living off of doing what they love.
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