After two days of fan meltdowns following a report that Lucasfilm is possibly sidelining its Star Wars spinoff movies thanks to the poor performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story, Lucasfilm reportedly isn’t planning to cancel any of the Star Wars projects it has in the works — although it’s going back to the drawing board when it comes to pitching the movies to audiences.
Citing unnamed Lucasfilm insiders, The Hollywood Reporter reports that none of the Star Wars films Disney and Lucasfilm have so far announced appear to be ripe for outright cancellation, but that producers are “licking their wounds” over Solo’s disappointing box office and rethinking their approach to broadening the forthcoming films’ appeal.
“It doesn’t mean those spinoffs don't happen,” one Solo insider told THR. “It just means they’re trying to figure out how to make, and market, them differently.”
The report assures that the studio’s announced Boba Fett story is still in development with writer (and likely director) James Mangold, but adds that Disney is considering alternate ways of presenting it. “The thinking,” reports THR, “is that if Han Solo, one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars universe, couldn’t sustain a big-budget origin feature, then any Fett movie would have to be scaled down.”
How the studio may approach the rumored standalone Obi-Wan Kenobi story is less certain, the report adds. “Stephen Daldry had been in negotiations to direct, but both the studio and his agency, CAA, had no comment on the current state of the project,” writes THR.
Whatever course the standalone projects take, Disney apparently is tightening the reins on revealing too much about each of its Star Wars projects going forward. “…[T]hey are now just going to look at what’s coming in and seeing how good it is, before dating anything,” one source explained.
For now, that means the most solid information we have about any new Star Wars movies revolves around the big titles: J.J. Abrams’ Episode IX, the announced mainline films in early development from Game of Thrones’ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the new trilogy from Rian Johnson, and the Jon Favreau-produced live-action series for Disney’s forthcoming streaming service.
If Disney and Lucasfilm fall in line with the information in THR’s report, word of how development is faring on the Boba Fett and (rumored) Obi-Wan standalones may be hard to come by. It also begs the question — could they even possibly shift some lower-budget, lower-profile projects over to Disney's upcoming streaming service? Netflix has proven mid-budget original movies can make a splash on streaming, and dropping an original Star Wars film is certainly one way to get fans to drop cash on yet another streaming service.
In the meantime, we can settle in and follow the progress of Episode IX, which is set to hit theaters on Dec. 20 of next year.