After Kathleen Kennedy Admitted The Company Had Taken The Fun Out Of Making Star Wars, Director Shawn Levy Says His Mandate Is To Create A Movie With “Fun And Warmth”
Shawn Levy shared an update on the Star Wars film he’s working on by revealing he received a mandate from Lucasfilm to create a movie with “fun and warmth.” Levy’s comments come just a year after Kathleen Kennedy admitted Lucasfilm took the fun out of Star Wars.
If you recall, Kennedy, who is Lucasfilm’s President, admitted to Vanity Fair back in May 2022 that she and Lucasfilm had removed the fun from Star Wars.
She recalled she had the realization after viewing a video montage of herself, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg when she received the Milestone Award from the Producers Guild of America.
Kennedy said, “What I was so taken with is how much fun we were having. It amounted to this moment of realization: I do think a little bit of fun has gone out of making these gigantic movies.”
“The business, the stakes, everything that’s been infused in the last 10 years or so. There’s a kind of spontaneity and good time that we have to be careful to preserve. I keep holding on to: It better be fun,” she added.
Now, Levy shared an update on his Star Wars film and revealed the mandate he received from Lucasfilm is to make a movie with “fun and warmth.”
After confirming his film is not an Ewok origin story, he revealed to Horowitz the film is still very much in early development, “Not as far along as I’d like, Josh. Not as far along. I definitely have an idea. Again, long pause, and now very much reengaging. But it’s development. I mean it’s early development. But I’ll also say I really want to make that movie.”
He continued, “And, obviously, Kathy, and Filoni, and all the kind of the brain trust at Lucasfilm they’re trying to juggle and coordinate a lot of pieces in film and in television, but the spirit of Kathy’s outreach to me, which was, ‘Your movies have a consistent sense of fun and warmth and that’s what we want the Shawn Levy Star Wars movie to be. That’s what we want Star Wars to be.’ I’m running with that mandate. It’s the only way I know how to approach the work anyway. So to play in that sandbox, it’s a blast. And every day just cooking up ideas.”
Levy added, “It’s ongoing. It’s a long runway.”
When asked what makes great Star Wars, Levy responded, “Listen, we’ve seen different tones succeed. We’ve seen Andor and its strength. We’ve seen The Force Awakens and its strengths. We’ve seen Rian [Johnson’s] Star Wars movie and its strengths.”
“For me, and again I can only make things that flow from me in an intuitive way. For me, I guess this reconnects to Episode IV, V, and VI, it is a combination of swashbuckling fun, swagger, but also a depth of relationship connections, what are you willing to sacrifice for, either a person or an idea, and in the best Star Wars movies it’s both,” he stated.
Levy previously discussed the film with Variety informing the outlet how he would approach Star Wars differently from others, “When Kathy Kennedy brought me on board to make a Star Wars movie, her central mandate to me was ‘I want a Shawn Levy movie. I want a story and a tone that reflects you and your taste and what you bring to your movies — with a Star Wars story.'”
He added, “So I have felt extremely empowered. We are in early days, unfortunately, because the development process was abruptly paused [due to the WGA strike], but I feel very empowered to trust my instincts in the development of this story and movie.”
Later in the interview, he would be asked if Adam Driver would reprise his role as Kylo Ren in the film.
Levy replied, “Your words, not mine! As you know Adam is a buddy, and I’ve always been a huge fan of Kylo Ren. But no comment.”
What do you make of Shawn Levy’s comments about his Star Wars film?