‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Disney Plus Series Will Delay Production Start Date, Is NOT Being Cancelled
Recently, a rumor got out that the Obi-Wan Kenobi-focused television series was going to be cancelled. The good news is that this is not true, and the likes of star Ewan McGregor and director Deborah Chow are staying on the series. The bad news is that the production start on the Disney+ series is looking likely to be pushed back as a result of rewrites.
According to Collider, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has made the call to indefinitely delay the start of production on the Obi-Wan Kenobi series in order to punch up the scripts for the series, set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. As such, staff who were set to work on the project have been dismissed for the time being until pre-production properly begins. This move seemingly putting the show in a similar position to the Cassian Andor-focused project, which also faced delays for similar screenplay-related reasons. (As we reported last year, the script for the Obi-Wan Kenobi film which was being worked into the series was considered “great”; since the series is intended to be longer than two hours, there may have been issues with adding more content to the story.) Neither show was planned to release this year, but it’s possible that they could potentially arrive in 2022 instead of the current planned window of 2021. The Obi-Wan Kenobi project was intended to start filming in July prior to the delay.
The Hollywood Reporter has added some further details. Drive writer Hossein Ameni was originally on-board to write the six episodes of the show, but only two screenplays were fully completed. In addition, some roles were in the process of being cast, with potential actors auditioning off of Ewan McGregor. Another point of note suggests that the story featured a young Luke and Leia. However, Ameni’s scripts have since been jettisoned for story reasons, and the episode count has been reduced from six to four in order to avoid creating issues with pacing and stretching the narrative too thin (again, was originally imagined as a two-hour movie). A new writer has not yet been recruited, but Lucasfilm are working fast to find one. It remains to be seen if the series will feature Luke and Leia (since people involved were said to be worried that the story dynamics of the screenplays seemed too close in nature to The Mandalorian), or that possible Jar Jar cameo for that matter. While Collider suggested that the show will start filming in the Summer, the update from The Hollywood Reporter makes it seem more likely that production could be further delayed.
As it stands, this series is high priority for Lucasfilm, and ensuring that the series is “just right” with more time in the pre-production stage of development is better than getting it out in time for a certain quarterly period. Going back to the drawing board with the scripts now also prevents Lucasfilm from spending a lot on resources to rework a project that’s already been mostly-filmed. Ewan McGregor’s representatives have also denied any rumors that he may exit the project. As it stands, Disney+ is a massive success right out the gate, with The Mandalorian leading the way as the must-see show on the nascent streaming platform. It’s likely that The Mandalorian Season 2, Jedi Temple Challenge, The Clone Wars, and several animated projects (including, possibly, a sequel to Star Wars Rebels) will fill the void that the delayed Cassian Andor and Obi-Wan Kenobi series are currently leaving, although both shows will still be Disney+ exclusives when they do hit the streaming service. Aside from Star Wars, Disney+ will have a number of live-action and animated Marvel Cinematic Universe offerings to help drive subscription numbers up, along with a host of other new content developed for the streaming service, even as the library of Disney movies and shows continues to grow.
The untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series is in development for Disney+.
Grant has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as he can remember, having seen every movie on the big screen. When he’s not hard at work with his college studies, he keeps himself busy by reporting on all kinds of Star Wars news for SWNN and general movie news on the sister site, Movie News Net. He served as a frequent commentator on SWNN’s The Resistance Broadcast.