Brad Bird has denied rumours he has been selected to direct the forthcoming Star Wars: Episode VII movie for Disney/Lucasfilm.
Last month (October 31), Disney announced plans to make a new series of Star Wars films after buying Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion (£2.5 billion), with Episode VII supposedly earmarked for release in 2015.
With George Lucas set to serve as "creative consultant" on the new movies but without playing an active role in their development, speculation as to who will helm the new trilogy of movies has been rife with Brad Bird seen as the favourite to take over the director's chair.
However, Bird took to Twitter yesterday (November 17) to tell fans that he will not be directing the latest film in the sci-fi franchise.
“@rsavenell: You are on people's lists as top choice for Star Wars, yet haven't confirmed. Please end this tease!” Not doing Star Wars.
Another follower then tweeted that Bird was slamming Star Wars: Episode VII to which the director replied: "I'm not slamming Star Wars. I'm just doing '1952'! Sheesh!"
Last week, it was announced that Toy Story 3's Michael Arndt has now been officially commissioned to script the first film.
An announcement on the Star Wars website read: "As pre-production of Star Wars: Episode VII begins, Lucasfilm has confirmed that award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay for the new Star Wars film. As revealed in the ongoing video series posted here on StarWars.com, (Lucasfilm president) Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas have begun story conferences with Arndt."
Arndt is a known Star Wars fan with an impressive CV. He won an Oscar in 2007 for his original screenplay to Little Miss Sunshine and went on to script 2010's Toy Story 3, which earned him another Oscar nomination. He has also co-written The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, due next year (2013).