Star Wars is about to come out of hyperspace and cruise along at a pace even a landspeeder can handle. The box office disappointment of Solo: A Star Wars Story led many to wonder if audiences really had enough of an appetite to visit that galaxy far, far away every year. Disney has decided the audience needs more of that “A long time ago” feeling between installments.
“I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made — I take the blame — was a little too much, too fast,” Disney CEO Bob Iger tells The Hollywood Reporter. There have been reports that a number of Star Wars projects, particularly the A Star Wars Story spinoffs, are on hold. Iger effectively confirms those reports.
“You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to make films,” he says. “J.J. [Abrams] is busy making [Episode] IX. We have creative entities, including [Game of Thrones creators David] Benioff and [D.B.] Weiss, who are developing sagas of their own, which we haven’t been specific about. And we are just at the point where we’re going to start making decisions about what comes next after J.J.’s. But I think we’re going to be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that.”
It’s interesting that Iger didn’t mention Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson’s proposed trilogy. It’s possible Johnson was just grouped in with the other unnamed “creative entities” to which Iger referred. Still, you would think directing a $1.3B movie would be enough to get your name and projects mentioned if they really are a definite part of the franchise’s future.
Timing is not the only issue with Star Wars movies. It’s not even the main issue despite all the chatter surrounding it. Audiences will show up frequently when a franchise has got the goods. Marvel Studios hooks moviegoers three times per year now with films that are fresh, unique events. Lucasfilm has to be willing to expand the idea of what a Star Wars movie can be.
Cost control will also help. Solo would not have been a failure if it had come in at a more reasonable price. Shooting movies once instead of twice will help in that regard, but even a single round of production doesn’t have to cost so much. An Obi-Wan movie, which people are actually asking for, can be space Yojimbo for $100M or less.
These are all things Disney and Lucasfilm should consider before Star Wars speeds up again.
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter