Star Wars Boss Reportedly Told To Stop Announcing Projects By Disney
A new report reveals that higher-ups at Disney told Lucasfilm to stop announcing Star Wars projects and creatives involved. Disney invested $4 billion to purchase Lucasfilm in October 2012. The decision has paid off for them as they have released five theatrical Star Wars movies, an entire lineup of Disney+ streaming series set in a galaxy far, far away, and multiple attractions at various Disney theme parks. Yet, in recent years, Lucasfilm has struggled to get any new Star Wars movie off the ground.
Lucasfilm has earned a bad reputation by hiring high-profile filmmakers onto Star Wars projects only to have them fired or quit at various stages of production. Names announced to be at the helm of a new Star Wars movie who have since departed include Colin Trevorrow, Josh Trank, Phil Lord, and Chris Miller, Stephen Daldry, David Benioff, and D.B. Weiss. Recently Disney had to remove Star Wars: Rouge Squadron from director Patty Jenkins off their release schedule due to creative differences between the director and Lucasfilm, despite Lucasfilm releasing a big announcement video of Patty Jenkins directing the movie for D23.
Disney appears to be aware of the negative headlines these announcements and non-starters are for both Disney and the Star Wars brand that they have reportedly issued an order. According to a report from Puck News, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has been advised by Disney to stop announcing projects and creatives to not generate bad headlines from the press and fans if and when these projects do not happen. This sheds some light on why no new Star Wars films were announced at either Star Wars Celebration, San Diego Comic-Con, or D23 this year.
Disney’s original plan for Star Wars was to have one movie yearly. The movie would be a spin-off between each episode and the subtitle « A Star Wars Story. » Solo: A Star Wars Story being the first box office bomb, forced Lucasfilm to scrap those plans and then put all of their attention on finishing up the Skywalker Saga with the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker while also investing in streaming series on Disney+. While they currently have many films in development, including one from director Taika Waititi and a new movie with Damon Lindelof writing and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy directing, it appears the studio is trying to find the right project to mark Star Wars’ return to the big screen.
While the various announcements and cancelations might seem like bad news, it is also important to remember this is not something unique to Lucasfilm but the fundamental reality of Hollywood movie-making. Various studios have films that go through long development cycles with multiple filmmakers attached and a wide array of creative directions to take. The long history of trying to make Batman and Superman movies in recent years shows how even a property that seems like an easy movie to make can be a difficult task. Lucasfilm has garnered a reputation among fans for announcing projects that never happen, and that is one they will need to shake off in the future. Hopefully, this development will mean the only Star Wars films that get announced are the ones audiences get to see.