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Del Toro resists Star Wars force

Director follows Abrams, Spielberg and Bird in ruling himself out of the Disney trilogy

Image Credit: AFP
Director Guillermo del Toro speaks during the keynote address at the 2013 International CES at The Venetian on January 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has become the latest director to rule himself out of contention for the new trilogy of ‘Star Wars’ films.

Del Toro told ‘The Playlist’ he had been approached by producers via his agent last year following Disney’s $4.05bn (Dh14.87 billion) purchase in October of Lucasfilm and all rights to the long-running space opera. The studio plans at least three new ‘Star Wars’ films and has lined up the Oscar-winning writer of ‘Toy Story 3’, Michael Arndt, to produce a screenplay for the debut installment, ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’.

“We got one phone call to my agent saying, ‘Is Guillermo interested?’” Del Toro told ‘The Wrap’. “And basically I have so much stuff already of my own, and I’m pursuing stuff that I’m generating already.”

The director of ‘Hellboy’ and ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ said he eventually turned the offer down, and would not be taking charge of any of the proposed sequels, adding: “It was very flattering. It was just a phone call, it didn’t go past that, it was very nice to be asked, but believe it or not, I’m busy enough.”

Del Toro follows JJ Abrams, Steven Spielberg and Brad Bird in ruling himself out. There has been little news on the ‘Star Wars’ front since November, when British director Matthew Vaughn was rumoured to be in talks to helm the first film in the new trilogy. The stars of the original trilogy, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Harrison Ford (Han Solo), have all been tipped to return to the series.

Del Toro, meanwhile, is keeping busy with new science fiction project ‘Pacific Rim’, set to debut in cinemas in July. The film is set in a world where soldiers piloting giant robots battle against giant monsters who have mysteriously risen from beneath the ocean. He also has a film titled ‘1952’ in the works, with George Clooney in the lead, and still hopes to bring his HP Lovecraft adaptation ‘At the Mountains of Madness’ to the big screen.

“I’m going to try it one more time. Once more into the dark abyss,” said Del Toro of the long-gestating project, which was canned by studio Universal last year. “We’re gonna do a big presentation of the project again at the start of the year and see if any [studio is] interested,” he told The Playlist. “Tom [Cruise] is still attached. I think it would be so fantastic to make it with him. He’s been such a great ally of the project.”