Author Topic: Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold  (Read 721 times)

Offline Nicklab

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Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold
« on: June 20, 2018, 07:08 PM »
Collider.com has posted this article today:  Exclusive: Future ĎA Star Wars Storyí Spinoffs on Hold at Lucasfilm.  The article cites "sources at Lucasfilm", stating that the only film that will be in production in the near term will be Episode 9.  No press release has been made from Lucasfilm or Disney at this time that might confirm or deny this news.

Projects in the Disney era of the Star Wars franchise have run into their fair share of troubles.  There has been turmoil in hiring writers and directors for several projects, as well as extensive reshoots that led to significant reshaping of at least two films.  There has also been extensive discussion about the release date for SOLO which was within 6 months of the release of THE LAST JEDI.  And last, but certainly not least, the box office returns for SOLO were lower than almost any previously released Star Wars film.  That last detail no doubt got the attention of higher-ups at Disney.

The rumored projects that may have been put on hold include a film centered on Obi-Wan Kenobi, and another built around Boba Fett.  There were reports of director/writers attached to those two projects, but by some accounts development work on those films has ceased.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2018, 07:37 PM »
I saw this earlier, and hope it isnít true....or it is an exaggeration. It seems like an extreme over reaction if it is true. I really, really enjoyed Solo....and thought it was a lot of fun (and held out hope for more). I think the release date and marketing were much more to blame than disinterest or a bad quality of film. I know from the group that I work with, etc, who would be considered more ďgeneral audienceĒ than fan base, barely knew of this movie and certainly didnít care as much as they did about Avengers, Deadpool, Incredibles, or Jurassic World. The summer months are so crowded any more, this year in particular, maybe things just need to stay at Christmas these days. I donít know that one month can support both Marvel and Star Wars together without box office drop off.

Offline GrandMoffNick

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Re: Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2018, 07:46 PM »
I don't mind if "back burner" means a little more time between releases. Probably good for the toy line. But I agree it's a knee jerk reaction to one movie.

I'm also probably going to vomit with all the self congratulating that the boycotters are doing. They all showed Disney.

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« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 08:09 PM by GrandMoffNick »
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Offline Diddly

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Re: Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2018, 08:27 PM »
I'm also probably going to vomit with all the self congratulating that the boycotters are doing. They all showed Disney.

*palpatine_watching_opera.jpg* Ironic.

They do realize this also kills the Kenobi spinoff they've been demanding since Disney announced spinoffs, right?

I think this is a good move, personally. Star Wars is a hot mess right now, if the rumors going around are true. The director firings, the divisive response to TLJ, and Solo underperforming has cost Disney a lot, and they need to save the brand somehow. Otherwise Star Wars movies will lose that "big event" feel they've always had. It sort of happened with Solo, and I think Disney realizes they need to change things, fast, before the franchise loses its magical aura.
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Offline GrandMoffNick

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Re: Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2018, 08:56 PM »
I don't mean this. I hope on my death bed I am regretting I'll miss the next Star Wars movie coming to theaters in two months. But how about Disney just says, "you wouldn't give us a swing and a miss" (though I liked TLJ), "so we're releasing Ep 9 and then taking our ball and going home". "If you won't be happy and think we've ruined the franchise then we will stop making more "terrible" films"

Because TFA, RO, TLJ, and Solo were so bad in relation to TPM, AotC, and RotS.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 08:57 PM by GrandMoffNick »
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Offline GrandMoffNick

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Re: Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2018, 09:12 PM »
Or another good solution, Disney will get George to write the dialogue. See if any of Hayden Christensen's or Jake Lloyd's relatives are actors, and look for people who don't know the word "no". Then we could get Star Wars back to the glory of the prequel trilogy days
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2018, 09:36 PM »
I think there's the distinct possibility that Disney wants to get a sense of what's going on at Lucasfilm.  Granted, the movies that have been released during the Disney era have grossed some $4.78 billion.  Those grosses are close to paying back what Disney paid George Lucas for the franchise.  But I think that Disney is very conscious of maintaining the integrity of the Star Wars brand.  One movie not doing as well as the previous three at the box office is one thing.  But when Disney starts looking at the bigger picture?  They might start to question things.  For Disney to let Lucasfilm move forward and have a second movie that underperform?  That could be far more damaging to the Star Wars franchise, and I think they simply don't want to let that happen.

Granted, there are some significant factors to consider.  The whole release calendar has been a major point of concern for me.  Everyone here knew the previous Lucas era model for movie releases:  one movie every three years, and a broad-based marketing campaign that would begin a few months before the movie release.  It was the original big summer movie, with May releases.  And a whole trilogy would take some 9 years to produce.  The toy lines had time to develop, and they got increasingly interesting over time because of the depth and breadth of characters, etc.

There's also the BIG elephant in the room.  You don't have that ONE GUY who is writing everything and has the grand vision for EVERYTHING.  You don't have George.  Now, Lucasfilm tried to figure that out with the Star Wars Story Group.  But they seem more like custodians and trail guides rather than an entity that will provide a unified artistic vision for the entire Star Wars universe.  So you have individual directors and screenwriters coming up with the majority of things in a new film project rather than the previous unified vision.  Should Lucasfilm employ some sort of Chief Creative Officer to guide the franchise from a story perspective?  It's a question worth asking.

There's also the state of fandom to consider.  It's scary right now.  Social media has gotten much more ugly, especially following the polarized reactions to THE LAST JEDI.  And perhaps by making Star Wars SO available, SO OFTEN?  It may not seem quite as special to the fans.  But then you also have fans who essentially ran off George (including with a documentary), bashed a young kid like Jake Lloyd, led Hayden Christensen to quit acting, and trolled Kelly Marie Tran until she deleted her social media accounts.  And some people are actually PROUD of having done this.  To say that none of this helps the franchise is a massive understatement. 

I am not going to go on a tear over Kathleen Kennedy.  She's one of the most successful producers in the history of Hollywood.  And George personally selected her to lead the company following him stepping away.  She got people like JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson involved.  And I think they managed to breathe some life into the franchise while also respecting some of the legacy.  But there have also been some hiring missteps with writers and directors.  I think that Disney probably wants some time and room for the franchise to breathe and focus on Episode 9.  As for future projects?  I think they want to be REALLY sure about the people who are writing and directing new projects.  As much as seeking out new talent is in the independent spirit from which Star Wars was born, having a relatively new director manage a movie with a budget of around $200 million may not be the right fit.

« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 09:39 PM by Nicklab »
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Offline Darby

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Re: Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2018, 10:16 PM »
I think it's ok to push pause.

I want my Obi-Wan movie, but will it work at the box office? I don't know. Solo might have made more sense as a TV series - it was really the best pilot I've seen in a long time. But this idea SW is broken, considering its commercial and qualitative success in the last three years, is curious. To put it mildly. There is something broken in SW, and it's the aspect of fandom we've discussed here and in other threads. There's simply a part of fandom that has become toxic and disconnected from reality. If they think they've achieved some victory here with this (unconfirmed) announcement, they're wrong. All they've done is cement the idea in Disney's mind that the movies with female leads make bank and the ones without don't.

SW is roughly where the MCU was with Hulk and IM2; not quite solid in its footing. And that's ok. This is a new frontier for the franchise. Not all of this will work, and Disney is learning along with us what works as a SW movie and what doesn't. I've said before the cinematic universe is not as big as they think. As expansive as SW is, there's a limit to people's interest in it and I think, sadly, Solo may be evidence of that.

We're very lucky to have SW back after a very long time in the desert of the PT (not all bad, but not all good) and to have good, sometimes great, movies. Solo didn't work at the box office. Ok. There are a lot of factors that go into that, covered well here, so I won't retread those. The biggest one is it simply wasn't a movie people wanted to see. They said so in 2012 when it was announced, and nothing in the trailers changed their minds. It's a very good movie, so that's unfortunate. It's fine for Lucasfilm to stop and assess the landscape. What makes sense? More of these one offs? Future trilogies? More connected? Less? People often cite the behind the scenes issues with directors, etc. It's symptomatic of trying to find the right direction for this franchise post-Lucas. They're still finding their footing. The cold hard reality is SW will never be the singular vision of one person again, or a primarily artistic enterprise. Say what you will about the PT, it's Lucas' vision.



Offline EdSolo

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Re: Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2018, 07:02 AM »
I'll believe this once their is an official word from Disney or Lucasfilm.  I just read an article previous to this that there are/were currently nine Star Wars films in some sort of production phase.  The thinking was the Episode IX, the Obi-wan film, the Boba Fett film, the Rain Johnson trilogy (hopefully not the saga of Broom boy on Canto Bight), and a possible trilogy from the Game of Thrones people who were rumored to be doing something.  Now just a few days later we see they are putting the breaks on everything.

Solo "failed" for two reasons primarily.  There was extreme bad press throughout the entire production which included the firing of the original directors for supposedly trying to make it a slap stick comedy.  Second is the insistence of the May release date.  When the Disney purchase came about, I admit I was annoyed when TFA was set to be released in December instead of May.  Now, with all the Marvel movies, I much rather have Star Wars in December.  It worked well for Disney for three movies, but they had to change it.  I don't buy the whole "we want Star Wars back in May" rationale either since there was never even a hint of a May release date for Episode IX.  They really should have moved Solo to December.  It was too close to TLJ and maybe they could have used the extra time on it for post production and advertising.

I'm not sure that Star Wars can support multiple movies a year like Marvel can.  You don't have the Avengers equivalent in Star Wars.  All the story films are focusing on existing characters from one of the trilogies.  There isn't a "get the team together to battle the big bad guy" type plot that can fit into Star Wars.

The one thing that I keep seeing is the thought to go somewhere else, namely the Old Republic.  That is a pretty open time period considering the new canon.  I wonder how a movie set in the Star Wars universe would work without any ties to the saga films.  I also keep hearing a desire for a Yoda film.  I'm not sure that would work.  I thought about a series of Sith films to show the lineage from Darth Bane to Darth Sidious, but I doubt that could work on the big screen.  If they were hidden for 1,000 years, not sure how you could play a Jedi vs. Sith plot without stomping on the thought that the Sith were extinct by TPM.  It might be able to work in the novels or comics.

Offline Muftak

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Re: Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2018, 07:38 AM »
It would be really interesting if true.

There's certainly no public mandate for "more Star Wars," I guess you could say people are interested in Episode IX, but even there I'd argue that its only from the point of a view that we need to "finish" the trilogy. It's not like there are storylines left dangling from "The Last Jedi."

In the month since "Solo" came out it has become obvious that it's stumbling block was not being marketed well at all, and it proved the general public's indifference to Star Wars beyond the hype machine. Let's face it, Disney marketed "Solo" like a lost cause, like a movie they were embarrassed to have. The ads and trailers screamed: "Here's a movie we were able to finish against all odds!" as opposed to "You need to go see this movie!" They hid the lead character's face and voice as much as they could in promotion, they avoided saying his name, which just so happened to be the movie's title...how do you market a movie if you don't want to say it's name?

And the lesson? If you don't tell the public they need to see your movie, they don't go see your movie. I doubt very much that this is shocking news to a company like Disney. Sure, they would have been happy to have a Star Wars movie perform at "Star Wars movie" levels without spending "Star Wars movie" money on the promotion, and my suspicion is they may have written "Solo" off as a test to see how bulletproof the franchise was.

The infamous line about the spin-offs has been: "No one asked for these movies," and in that regard no one is worried about the lack of an announced future spin-off. Again there is no public mandate for a new movie every year. Maybe the public will say "Hey where's Star Wars?" this Christmas after three years in a row, but I doubt it.

I am fine with Lucasfilm waiting for the right pitch and the right creative team to come along, and making a movie based on the merit of the production rather than filling a previously announced release date. As a matter of fact, I think that is the best decision they could make.

Offline Dave

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Re: Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2018, 09:48 AM »
In the month since "Solo" came out it has become obvious that it's stumbling block was not being marketed well at all, and it proved the general public's indifference to Star Wars beyond the hype machine. Let's face it, Disney marketed "Solo" like a lost cause, like a movie they were embarrassed to have. The ads and trailers screamed: "Here's a movie we were able to finish against all odds!" as opposed to "You need to go see this movie!"

I think this is really the issue.

Look at Rogue One and Solo.  Both are side projects that aren't critical the Skywalker saga.  Rogue One had the marketing support (and a little more room to breath, but I don't think that is really an issue) and Solo had virtually none.

I thought both movies were very good and very enjoyable (more so than TLJ).  To me the only difference was the turd of a marketing campaign they used to sell it.  It certainly didn't help that Kennedy and the crew gathered lots of bad press with director changes, reshoots, etc. that set them down a bad path, but they could have done a lot more to push this movie towards box office success.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 10:58 AM by Dave »

Offline Brian

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Re: Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2018, 10:42 AM »
The singular vision the Darby mentioned really would help a lot. It has been mentioned before, but they really need someone like Marvel has with Kevin Fiege. Also, I think they are sort of trying to Marvel-ize the Star Wars universe, and I'm not sure that works. It just isn't the same. You can't necessarily do the Han movie, then Luke, then Leia, then Obi-Wan and then bring them together Avengers-style in A New Hope - it has already been done.

As much as I like more new Star Wars, letting things breathe a bit might be good for both the movies and toys. Maybe not the three year gap like the old days, but two might be ok. It really seems like the toyline, at least the basic/main line has gotten a bit stagnant and boring, as we haven't had the time to get much of anything outside of the main characters. Giving the whole thing some space could be a good thing.

On an unrelated note, but I'm wondering if -outside of Solo even- Star Wars isn't the biggest game in town any more. It sure seems like, at least among the general audience, that Marvel is the big show these days. As a fan of both, it sure seems like a lot more people in every day life discuss Marvel at this point.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 12:17 PM by Brian »

Offline Darby

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Re: Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2018, 11:20 AM »
This is definitely the Marvel moment or generation. SW is still very huge, though the China thing has to be worrying to Disney. I don't think making SW like Marvel would work, like Brian says. It's not the same idea. They're kind of slowly building a mini universe of between ROTS and ANH with RO, Solo, Rebels, etc. which has a lot of potential for interactivity, but is that the focus, or is it the sequels? Can you do both at the same time? Obviously not.

Solo had many things going against it, but coming out in the shadow of Infinity War, which was Disney's priority, was one of them. Disney also to consider they may be their own competition now. That will only get worse with the Fox merger.

Offline Nicklab

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Re: Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2018, 12:36 PM »
The singular vision the Darby mentioned really would help a lot. It has been mentioned before, but they really need someone like Marvel has with Kevin Fiege. Also, I think they are sort of trying to Marvel-ize the Star Wars universe, and I'm not sure that works. It just isn't the same. You can't necessarily do the Ha, movie, then Luke, then Leia, then Obi-Wan and then bring them together Avengers-style in A New Hope - it has already been done.

I've seen a lot of comparisons between Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  And I agree that it's just not the same. 

What I've taken away from that idea is the vast differences in stories and characters between Marvel and Star Wars.  There is an immense history of stories and character development for almost all of the Marvel characters.  In Captain America alone you're going back to the 1940's.  And someone like Kevin Feige is able to look back through that history and say "You know what?  We should try doing the Infinity War!"  It's in large part previously established material that is being ADAPTED into a movie.  Granted, Feige still has to find the right filmmakers for each project:  writers, producers, directors, talent, etc.  But there's already a basic framework that they will work within when they sign on to the project.

Star Wars stories all need to be built from the ground up.  While SW may have been inspired in large part by a mix of Flash Gordon, westerns, Kurosawa, 2001: A Space Odyssey and the writings of Joseph Campbell, it was still the work of George Lucas bringing all of those influences together in his own work.  The writer/director model may be the right way to go moving forward, provided the writer has a solid grasp of Star Wars lore.  So I think picking the right personnel is even more crucial than with the Marvel movies.  Feige was able to pull a fantastic director like Edgar Wright off of "Ant-Man" and they still wound up with a pretty good movie.  So is it the director?  The source material?  Or maybe the cast?

In this regard I'm actually quite optimistic about the Benioff/Weiss series of films.  Those guys were well steeped in classic literature well before they took on adapting Game of Thrones for HBO.  That reverence for lore that they have seems to have a bunch of people thinking that they could take on some of the ancient history of the Jedi.  I'd certainly like to see something like that, perhaps in the lead-up to where some Jedi broke away to become the Sith.

But the current situation?  I think we're looking at a confluence of events that led to SOLO disappointing at the box office:  the wrong director(s) in Lord & Miller along with the associated bad press after they got fired, the schedule, revisiting a beloved figure like Han Solo, toxic fandom, and possibly franchise fatigue.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2018, 04:20 PM »
The rumors that Collider published might be premature according to this ABC News piece. And given ABCís access to Disney and Lucasfilm itís undoubtedly been more thoroughly vetted.  The ABC piece states that the previously announced series of movies to be helmed by Rian Johnson as well as GoT showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are still a go.  And there are also additional movies in development that have yet to be formally announced.

MSW did some additional reporting that might have uncovered some details that led to the initial Collider report.  Notably, regarding Lucasfilm having stages on hold at Pinewood Studios in England, and that Lucasfilm released some of their reservations on that studio time & space at Pinewood.  But MSW also goes on to say that the project that may be on hold was loosely titled "Mos Eisley Spaceport", and that the long rumored Obi-Wan Kenobi and Boba Fett projects are still in some stage of development.
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