Disney appears to be shuffling the cards as Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige will team up with Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy to produce a Star Wars film.
Walt Disney Studios co-chairman Alan Horn confirmed the project to The Hollywood Reporter stating:
“We are excited about the projects Kathy and the Lucasfilm team are working on, not only in terms of Star Wars but also Indiana Jones and reaching into other parts of the company including Children of Blood and Bone with Emma Watts and Fox. With the close of the Skywalker Saga, Kathy is pursuing a new era in Star Wars storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a Star Wars film together.”
Not only will Lucas be teaming with Kennedy for a Star Wars film, but THR reports, “One knowledgeable source says Feige has told a major actor that there’s a specific role he would like that person to play if and when he makes the movie.” (Related: Disney CEO Bob Iger Doesn’t Believe Star Wars Has a Storytelling Problem: “I Think the Storytelling Capabilities of the Company are Endless”)
That report comes just hours after a rumor indicated Disney was looking to have Brie Larson play the lead role in an upcoming Star Wars film. It’s possible Larson could pull double duty in Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What might be more interesting about this new development at Star Wars is that Disney is bringing in Feige to Star Wars. Despite Horn’s words, the move shows a lack of faith in the direction Kennedy and Lucasfilm have taken Star Wars.
It might also show that Star Wars might be doing a lot worse than even its biggest detractors believe. Disney did admit they had less than expected attendance at the opening of Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland. Anecdotal reports indicate the attraction is struggling at Disney World as well. (Related: Rumor: Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Failing at Both Disney World and Disneyland – Disney “Desperate” For Attendance)
Not only did Disney admit their parks side of Star Wars struggling, but Solo: A Star Wars Story bombed at the box office and lost the company money.
The company also reported significantly decreased sales of Star Wars merchandise. And there are reports that kids are not interested in Star Wars. In fact, Disney announced the cancellation of the animated series Star Wars Resistance the day they released the trailer for the second season. (Related:Report: Disneyland’s Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Employees See Hours Cut as Attendance Doesn’t Meet Disney’s Expectations)
Shockingly, even The Hollywood Reporter admits Star Wars has a problem after Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi. They write, “Skywalker, otherwise known as Episode IX, is meant to be the final installment of the series that was first launched by George Lucas in 1977. It is also meant to win back fans after the last sequel trilogy entry, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, divided audiences.”
While some might see Feige as a potential savior for Star Wars, a number of the recent announcements concerning Marvel’s Phase 4 do not spark hope or interest in many fans.
The Phase 4 line-up has been heavily criticized for embracing woke culture with the announcement of Jane Foster Thor, the Ms. Marvel Disney Plus series, the casting announcements for The Eternals, and the alleged plot details of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
Star Wars under Kathleen Kennedy embraced the wokeness in The Last Jedi that was personified in the character of Admiral Holdo. It’s quite possible Feige could continue this trend with Kennedy. (Related: CEO Bob Iger Confirms Diversity Agenda at Disney)
On the other end, Feige could also reinvigorate the Star Wars franchise and bring it back to its roots. The producer did craft the Marvel Cinematic Universe that featured a number of stand out films including Iron Man, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers, and Avengers: Infinity War. There was also some duds in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Thor: The Dark World.
One might argue that James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy channeled classic Star Wars with the drama among the crew of The Milano, some ace-flying, and some huge space battles to boot. If Feige is able to capture that magic for Star Wars it could only be a boon for the currently beleaguered franchise.
What do you make of Disney’s move to partner Kennedy with Feige to produce a Star Wars film? Do you think this could be a stepping stone for Feige to have more influence in Star Wars? Who do you think the actor is that he already has in mind for the film? Are you excited to see Feige come to Star Wars or does it make you leery?