Star Wars artist and former contributor to StarWars.com Jordan Maison reports the Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor, which was expected to stream on Disney Plus, is being repurposed back into a feature film.
As reported by Bleeding Fool, Maison took to Twitter to write, “Welp, since I’ve had more than two (separate) people tell me, I can share a tidbit. Seems like they were (or are, hard to say right now) considering shifting it back to a MOVIE instead of a show.”
He added, “The lower episode count would mean they’ve certainly trimmed elements down. #Kenobi”
Welp, since I’ve had more than two (separate) people tell me, I can share a tidbit. Seems like they were (or are, hard to say right now) considering shifting it back to a MOVIE instead of a show. The lower episode count would mean they’ve certainly trimmed elements down. #Kenobi
— Jordan Maison (@JordanMaison) January 24, 2020
The Disney Plus series was initially conceived as a film. McGregor revealed that fact in an interview with Coming Soon back in October:
“It wasn’t always going to be a series, not initially. When we first started talking about [it] that wasn’t really in the cards, but everything’s changed so much, so quickly. It’s really exciting that it is now. I’m really into the idea to be able to tell the story over several hours instead of just one hit. I think it’s going to be quite cool.”
Maison’s report comes after both Collider and The Hollywood Reporter indicated the Kenobi series was on hold. Collider even reported “the crew that had assembled at Pinewood Studios was sent home.”
The Hollywood Reporter would indicate there were issues with the scripts, “Sources tell THR that the scripts — only two were written — and story became an issue and that the entire package has been jettisoned.” They also reported the show would be reduced to four episodes.
However, the idea that there were issues with the script was refuted by actor Ewan McGregor. While promoting Birds of Prey, McGregor told IGN:
“I’ve read about eighty, ninety percent of what they’ve written so far, and it’s really, really good. Instead of shooting this August, they just want to start shooting in January, that’s all. Nothing more dramatic than that. It often happens in projects, they just wanted to push it to next year.”
McGregor also indicated he had not heard anything about the show’s episode count being reduced. “I haven’t heard that,” McGregor stated.
The Hollywood Reporter’s report was a little far-fetched to begin with, especially with the idea that there were problems with the script. When the series was announced at D23 Kathleen Kennedy stated, “We are really close. We have all the scripts written. We are ready to start shooting next year. We could not be more excited. Can’t wait to start production.”
It’s safe to assume that Kennedy and Lucasfilm would have been satisfied with scripts if she’s going to make a statement indicating they’ve been written.
However, Lucasfilm has an increasing pattern of having issues with creatives and specifically directors. Colin Trevorrow was replaced by J.J. Abrams for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. And recent leaked concept images and details about Trevorrow’s Duel of the Fates indicate his film would have been radically different from what Abrams gave us in The Rise of Skywalker.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story saw Tony Gilroy come in and heavily edit the Gareth Edwards directed film. THR even describes Gilroy as “the film’s ghost director.”
Gilroy described what Rogue One looked like before he came in, “And they were in such a swamp … they were in so much terrible, terrible trouble that all you could do was improve their position.”
He also detailed there was a lot of confusion with the film as well, “If you look at Rogue, all the difficulty with Rogue, all the confusion of it … and all the mess, and in the end when you get in there, it’s actually very, very simple to solve.”
Kennedy and Lucasfilm would also have issues with Solo: A Star Wars Story. Ron Howard would replace Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were originally tapped to direct the project. An unnamed crew member who worked under both Lord and Miller and Howard cited the reason Lord and Miller were canned was because they were doing too much experimentation.
The crew member told Variety, “I got a lot of overtime [under Lord and Miller], which ultimately was their downfall.” The crew member added, “The first assistant director brokers that with production. He ultimately went to the well one too many times, and Kathleen Kennedy blew up.”
However, a source close to Lord and Miller indicated Kennedy and company were constantly overruling their ideas:
“In their minds, Phil and Chris were hired to make a movie that was unexpected and would take a risk, not something that would just service the fan. They wanted it to be fresh, new, emotional, surprising and unique. These guys looked at Han as a maverick, so they wanted to make a movie about a maverick. But at every turn, when they went to take a risk, it was met with a no.”
Needless to say there still appears to be rampant chaos at Lucasfilm and for all intents and purposes they have no idea what they are actually doing over there.