Lucasfilm “Licking Their Wounds” But Not Halting ‘Star Wars’ Development
The box-office returns of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ are a wake-up call for the studio to make and market upcoming films differently, sources say.
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 having to fight to make much more than $350 million worldwide, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
“They haven’t slowed down development,” says a source with knowledge of Lucasfilm’s thinking, “but they are licking their wounds.”
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and her team are regrouping and figuring out the 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.”
In the case of the Boba Fett spinoff, the project is still being developed, sources tell THR, with Simon Kinberg and James Mangold writing the script with the plan being for Mangold to direct. (The filmmaker is prepping to next shoot his period racing drama Ford vs. Ferrari.)
But there’s a catch with Boba Fett. Sources say that after the underperformance of Solo, the project could now be reconfigured. The thinking 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.
The status of the Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff is even less clear. Stephen Daldry had been in negotiations to direct, but both the studio and his agency, CAA, had no comment on the current state of the project.
There had been rumors that Ewan McGregor, who played a younger Obi Wan in the first three episodes of the saga, would reprise his role for that spinoff — the actor was even present at the Solo premiere — but for his next gig, McGregor will shoot Warner Bros.’ adaptation of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, which goes into production later this year…