Yesterday, we reported here on Talkies Network that Lucasfilm denied any plans to halt development on their Star Wars spinoff films. Today, Lucasfilm reached out to THR to elaborate on their initial statement.
Disney and Lucasfilm are reassessing their plans for future Star Wars movies in the wake of the disappointing performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story, which is fighting to make much more than $350 million worldwide. One insider said:
“They haven’t slowed down development. But they are licking their wounds.”
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and her team are regrouping to decide on a new direction of the movies beyond the final installment of the main series of films, Star Wars: Episode IX, which is scheduled for release Dec. 20, 2019.
“It doesn’t mean those spinoffs don’t happen,” says another insider of Solo‘s underperformance globally. “It just means they’re trying to figure out how to make, and market, them differently.”
Insiders also spoke about the planned Boba Fett film which is still being developed, with Simon Kinberg and James Mangold penning the script with the longterm plan for Mangold to direct it. (The filmmaker is prepping to next shoot his period racing drama Ford vs. Ferrari.)
Sources also say though that after the under-performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story, the Boba Fett project could now be reconfigured. The line of thinking here is that if Han Solo, one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars universe, couldn’t sustain a big-budget origin feature, then any Fett movie would have to be scaled down, since though the character is popular, he’s certainly less well-known to most moviegoers than the Corellian smuggler. Granted the Solo film did experience several BTS problems but that is a story for another day.
As for the status of an Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff, that’s even less clear. Stephen Daldry had been in negotiations to direct, but both the studio and his agency, CAA, have no comment on the rumored project.
There had been rumors that Ewan McGregor, who played a younger Obi Wan in the prequel trilogy, would reprise his role for that spinoff – the actor was even present at the Solo premiere – but for his next gig, McGregor will film Warner Bros.’ adaptation of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining, which goes into production later this year.
“They were developing anything and everything,” says another exec to THR. “It was a case of them stuffing so much sausage and not try to break the casing.”
Currently, there are three confirmed Star Wars projects on the live-action side. Two official film projects remain works in progress. Game of Thrones TV show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are writing and are to produce a new series of movies, while Rian Johnson, who co-wrote and directed The Last Jedi, is developing a separate trilogy of his own. Iron Man director Jon Favreau is executive producing a live-action Star Wars TV show and that will air on Disney’s streaming service.
“In light of the reaction to Last Jedi and the performance of Solo, they are now just going to look at what’s coming in and seeing how good it is, before dating anything,” says one insider. “It’s all pretty understandable.”
Beyond Episode IX, no release dates have been announce for future films, a non-typical move out of step with current trends as studios, Disney included, plant flags for franchise releases years in advance.