Hot off the heels of reported creative differences between Rogue Squadron director Patty Jenkins, Lucasfilm has extended its contract with president Kathleen Kennedy. This extension will have Kennedy running Lucasfilm until 2024. There are several Star Wars projects in various stages of development, as well as another Indiana Jones film, and this news will certainly arouse mixed reactions from fans.
Kennedy was the handpicked successor of Lucasfilm from George Lucas when the studio was acquired by Disney in 2012. While the Star Wars universe has brought forth a new trilogy, two spin-off films, and Disney+ flagship series The Mandalorian, creative differences have marred several of the projects and further intensified the divisions of the galaxy far, far away’s fanbase. The most recent issues have come about with Jenkins. Her film Rogue Squadron had been announced nearly a year ago at Disney’s Investor Day celebration in December.
Solo: A Star Wars Story‘s production problems are the most well-documented, with Kennedy and Lucasfilm unable to develop creative cohesion with Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie). The differences ultimately led to bringing in veteran director Ron Howard, who helped bring home a film that lacked the special Star Wars sheen for fans. There are several other films in development, namely ones from Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) and Kevin Feige. Given the nature of Feige and Waititi both playing in the interconnected studio sandbox with Marvel (also owned by Disney), it’s a bit easier to imagine them playing by Kennedy’s rules than someone like Jenkins.
The lack of Star Wars news at this past week’s Disney+ Day makes Kennedy’s extension all the more interesting. Aside from The Book of Boba Fett and some behind-the-scenes stills and art for the upcoming Obi-Wan series, announcements, and recognition about other series such as Andor, Ahsoka, and The Acolyte were absent. Marvel gave a clear spotlight to their content with Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk, whereas Star Wars lacked that prominent presence.
Kennedy has served as a producer and executive producer on countless major Hollywood films, from fan favorites like Gremlins and The Goonies to critically-acclaimed fare such as The Color Purple and Lincoln. She’s collaborated numerous times with Steven Spielberg, and she has been nominated for eight Academy Awards. The bulk of her upcoming projects center on Lucasfilm properties being made for Disney+.
‘Rogue Squadron’ was originally scheduled for release on December 22, 2023.
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