When the Walt Disney Company bought Star Wars from creator George Lucas in 2012, we expected big things. After all, this is the company that's backed the massive expansion of Marvel Entertainment into big-screen glory, so why wouldn't they also restore Star Wars to box-office dominance? What we didn't know, at the time, was just how big the company's push into a galaxy far, far away would be.
In the more than two years since the purchase, Disney's made big plans for everything from new theme park attractions to new comics to a whole new line of in-continuity novels and TV series, and then there are the films. A new trilogy was an ambitious step all by itself, but Disney's also already hired two directors to craft spinoff movies in between the main trilogy installments. Bottom line: We're in for a lot of this franchise in the coming years, so much so that, according to Disney CEO Bob Iger, we'll be getting a new Star Wars film every year for at least the next three years.
"I can assure the millions of ‘Star Wars’ fans who have spent the last decade hoping for a new movie this one will be worth the wait. And it’s only the beginning of a new era of exceptional ‘Star Wars’ storytelling; next year we’ll release our first standalone movie based on these characters, followed by ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ in 2017, and we’ll finish this trilogy with ‘Episode IX’ in 2019,” Iger wrote in an annual report to Disney shareholders.
When Lucas made his two Star Wars trilogies, he stuck to his habit of a three-year gap between films, but Disney's not prepared to wait that long, so we'll get a two-year wait between installments instead, perhaps shorter, depending on the release months. That might seem like a rush job, but Disney's already drafted its Episode VIII director in Looper's Rian Johnson, and he's off developing the film even as J.J. Abrams is finishing The Force Awakens. And then there are those spinoff films. The 2016 release will be the spinoff directed by Gareth Edwards, and it's very possible that the spinoff directed by Josh Trank could arrive in 2018, meaning five straight years of Star Wars.
Disney's making the jump to light speed, and it doesn't seem to be looking back.
(Via The Wrap)