Rumor: Disney CEO Bob Iger Scraps Two Previously Announced Star Wars Films
A new rumor claims that The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger is scrapping at least two previously announced Star Wars films.
This new rumor comes from scooper WDW Pro who states, “I am told that two theatrical projects, two movie projects that were going to be taking at place at Lucasfilm will not. Now, whether or not they make any kind of official statement about this or whether these just go into the dust bin of history quietly, we will find out.”
From there, WDW Pro detailed what the two movies are, “One of those I am told is James Mangold. That movie is at least paused without ceasing. Let’s say that.”
Mangold’s film was recently announced back in April at Star Wars Celebration. In a press release, Lucasfilm provided a brief overview of the film, “James Mangold will take audiences deep into the past, telling the tale of the first Jedi to wield the Force and harness it as a liberating power in an era of chaos and oppression.”
The Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny director further elaborated about the film in an interview with Gizmodo in June. He said, “When I mentioned to Kathy [Kennedy, Lucasfilm president] the idea that I had about going backward—really far backward—I was surprised that it excited her and the other wonderful people she works with at Lucasfilm.”
“For me, it’s about, I want to be part of the saga, but I also don’t want to be holding so much lore in the air that you can hardly tell a story,” he continued. ” And what I really wanted to do, what I told her, was just can we make a kind of the Ten Commandments of the Force, you know? A kind of origin story of how the Force came to be known, understood, wielded, and harnessed.”
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy also informed the Dagobah Dispatch about how the film connects with the Daisy Ridley film that was also announced at Star Wars Celebration, “We’ve been talking a lot about going well into the past and one of the things that’s really knitting this all together, obviously, are the Jedi. What happened with the Jedi overtime, much like history? How did the Jedi evolve? They were wiped out with Order 66 then they gradually have been coming back. The question that we’re going to ask with New Jedi Order and with Rey is: Does the galaxy need them anymore? Do they want them back?”
“So there’s a lot of food for though in what we’re doing whether it’s in the past, present, or future,” Kennedy continued.
Later in the video, WDW Pro also detailed that Taika Waititi’s film is also being scrapped. He stated, “The other movie that I have been told is essentially dead on arrival is the Taika Waititi film that he’s been writing for. He may turn something in. He may get paid for it. I’m told it’s dead. It’s just dead, dead. Maybe they’ll pick it up years to come, but right now there is nothing behind it at Lucasfilm.”
The Taika Waititi film was announced back on May 4, 2020 and seemingly no progress had been made on it. When asked about the project by Deadline back in March, he called it a rumor.
He told the outlet, “Yeah, that rumor’s about three years old. All I’ll say is God forbid I make a Star Wars film about people sitting on mountains playing flutes…”Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy told Empire in May that the movie was still happening, but Waititi was having issues with the third act.
She said, “Taika is working away. He’s just, and he won’t get mad at me for saying this, slow. We’ve got a couple of acts, we need a third.”
However, Waititi would tell The Hollywood Reporter at the end of May that the issue was the middle part of the film, not the third act.
He said, “I’ve got a really good idea for it. It’s just as with all films, it’s this middle part. You’re like, ‘What’s going to happen?’ And then you look at all of those films that are so great, you’re like, ‘Well, I guess they can’t meet some smuggler with an alien sidekick.’”
However, he also noted it’s not a top priority, “For the most part, I would like to take a few holidays and go and follow Rita around. Just be her little tour toy boy and hang out with her and just watch her perform and get her a cup of tea backstage.”
More recently, Waititi admitted at the Toronto International Film Festival, he had not completed a script yet.
While presenting an award to fellow director Shawn Levy, who is also working on a Star Wars script, Waititi said, “After [Levy] has had his way with that franchise like a cruel, indiscriminate virus he’ll move onto another, and another, and another, and then eventually probably Star Wars.”
Waititi then admitted, “Unlike me I hope he manages to finish a script for that.”
Taika Waititi honors Shawn Levy at the TIFF Tribute Awards: “Shawn has resisted the comfort of sameness in career, resulting in work that is audacious in its range of genres.” https://t.co/XkWfqBFsIz pic.twitter.com/kKBOz9In2W
— Variety (@Variety) September 11, 2023
The idea that Bob Iger would being making cuts at Star Wars should not surprise anyone either. Needham financial analyst Laura Martin recently attended an investor event at Walt Disney World and reported that Iger and Disney plan to “lower output by Marvel Studios and lower the cost per unit.”
In fact, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige made similar comments at the beginning of this year when he told Entertainment Weekly, “We want Marvel Studios and the MCU projects to really stand out and stand above. So, people will see that as we get further into Phase 5 and 6. The pace at which we’re putting out the Disney+ shows will change so they can each get a chance to shine.”
When asked if he would be spacing them out or putting out fewer shows per year, he responded, “Both, I think.”
Later in the interview he would reveal, “I think when we are doing about eight projects a year — and again, I said this is going to shift a little bit — they all have to be different. They all have to stand apart and stand alone and be different from one another.”
If the company is cutting back on Marvel Studios, it’s likely they would cut back on Star Wars as well. In fact, Bob Iger also said during the company’s Q1 FY23 Earnings Results call, “We have to be better at curating the Disney, and the Pixar, and the Marvel, and the Star Wars of it all.”
He added, “And, of course, reduce costs on everything that we make. While we are extremely what’s proud on the screen, it’s gotten to a point where it’s extraordinarily expensive. We want all the quality. We want the quality on the screen, but we have to look at what they cost us.”
What do you make of this new rumor that Mangold and Waititi’s films have been scrapped by Bob Iger?