Yesterday we reported about the future of Star Wars movies and Kathleen Kennedy’s future as President of Lucasfilm. A bit more light has been shed on the next Star Wars film and future of Lucasfilm, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Untitled Star Wars Film (2022)
THR is reporting that Kennedy has a director tapped for the next Star Wars film, and that it is not Rian Johnson, though by all recent reports his project is still in discussions/development. An announcement on the next film is not expected until January, as the central focus through the end of the year is The Rise of Skywalker.
Sources say Kennedy has a film on deck for 2022, but not the one being developed by The Last Jedi filmmaker Rian Johnson. (No announcement is planned until January.)
So who could it be? Fans may immediately point to Marvel boss Kevin Feige, who is developing a Star Wars film, though it was revealed yesterday that Kathleen Kennedy said his film is “a ways off”, which doesn’t exactly sound like the next in line.
The Future of Lucasfilm Leadership
THR also claims via sources, that Jon Favreau could have a big influence over Star Wars creative going forward, a belief likely strengthened over the last two weeks after positive critical and fan reception to The Mandalorian.
“Creating a new mythology is, of course, the challenge that Disney faces with Star Wars….so who better than Favreau to play a leading role in charting the course? He has fan loyalty. He is as Team Disney as they come, having directed The Jungle Book and The Lion King. He worked with Kennedy on the all-important effort to launch Disney+.”
According to their sources, it sounds like a potential three-headed creative team could very well be formed between recently promoted Michelle Rejwan (Lucasfilm Senior Vice President, Live Action Development and Production), Dave Filoni, and Jon Favreau.
“So with or without Kennedy, sources say it seems likely that Favreau will have a lot of say over the future of Star Wars. These sources also say Kennedy’s ideal team includes key roles for Michelle Rejwan, a producer on Episode IX and Lucasfilm’s senior vp live action development and production, and Dave Filoni, the veteran animation director and George Lucas protege who directed live action for the first time with two episodes of Mandalorian.”
This makes a lot of sense as it checks a lot of boxes off the list. I know this type of news is sensitive for those that may see it as a pushing out of Kennedy, but any potential situation like this would obviously come upon her departure, which regardless of how it happened, will always be publicized as her personal decision. It also helps that, according to THR, Rejwan and Filoni would be a part of her ideal team to hand the company off to, which I am sure (at least Filoni) would have the blessing of George Lucas as well, for what its worth.
Okay, with that said, why this lineup makes sense in my humble opinion:
Michelle Rejwan was a producer for J.J. Abrams’ projects dating back to 2011’s Super 8. She came along with him to Lucasfilm, and after the massive success of The Force Awakens, she developed a lot of capital of confidence within the company. I have heard a lot of talk about Rejwan and the political side of the business, that weave deeply into the decision making from a hierarchy and content perspective within Lucasfilm and recent Star Wars movies. Based on how things have shaped out over the last two years, it all lines up.
Jon Favreau has been a Disney gold mine. Not only was he responsible for launching what became the MCU with Iron Man, he has churned out mega-hit after mega-hit, with his titles universally praised by critics and audiences.
Dave Filoni, George Lucas’s protege and Star Wars lore wizard. He is the “keeper of the mythology” in the opinion of many hardcore Lucas purists. Dave Filoni, in my opinion, is untouchable and a no brainer to keep involved in the creative future of a saga that has no current theatrical creative direction. He preserves ties to the creator and roots of the franchise, which is invaluable.
It also doesn’t hurt that The Mandalorian has been universally praised.
Are we looking too far ahead? Probably. Kathleen Kennedy has two years remaining on her contract, and will oversee the production and development of the three active streaming series for Disney Plus (The Mandalorian and the untitled Cassian Andor and Kenobi series), as well as putting creatives in place for the first Star Wars film after the Skywalker saga. But a new era of Star Wars is upon us, and if Favreau, Rejwan, and Filoni are the three-headed monster to steer the ship, I’d have a hard time arguing against that lineup.
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter