Bird rules himself out of Star Wars VII

Hot favourite and popular choice for sequel tells fans he's not involved

Director Brad Bird has ruled himself out of directing the seventh 'Star Wars' film.Bird... says he won't be directing Star Wars sequel (Copyright: PA)

The helmsman behind films like 'The Incredibles' and 'Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol' was a hot favourite for the director's chair.

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But he's now let fans know that he won't be involved in the anticipated project, currently the biggest directing job in Hollywood.

“Not doing Star Wars,” he tweeted emphatically after being asked outright by a fan, later adding: “A science fiction film. Not Star Wars.”

Instead, it turns out he will be working for Disney, who recently bought up Lucasfilm for over $4 billion, but on the film '1952', which is set to star George Clooney.

Some fans were keen to whip up hype that Bird had shunned the space adventure series, one film buff tweeting: “Totally just saw @BradBirdA113 slam Star Wars.”

Bird swiftly replied: “I’m not slamming Star Wars. I’m just doing '1952'! Sheesh! That said, Michael Arndt is a fantastic writer and Kathy Kennedy is a brilliant producer. I will be first in line to see the new STAR WARS.”

Now Bird, a popular choice, is out of the running, it leaves a number of directors still possible, including 'Kick-Ass' man Matthew Vaughn, 'Iron Man's Jon Favreau and Joe Johnston, who directed the recent 'Captain America' reboot.

It follows news that 'Toy Story 3' scribe Michael Arndt will write the first of the sequels.