Bob Chapek: Kathleen Kennedy Is Staying At Lucasfilm - SWNN
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Disney CEO Bob Chapek Reaffirms Kathleen Kennedy’s Secure Future at Lucasfilm

Bob Chapek Kathleen Kennedy
Contrary to the perennial rumors that Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy is on the way out, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has reaffirmed that she will be directing Lucasfilm activities for years to come.

 

Earlier today, Disney hosted a conference call for their investors to discuss the state of the company. In contrast to a year ago, when COVID-19 was wrecking nearly all aspects of their business model aside from their direct-to-consumer platforms (particularly due to the over-performance of Disney+), Disney has managed to bounce back in a big way with their stock nearly triple what it was at that time. A big portion to Disney Plus’s success is due to The Mandalorian, which was the reason to pick up the streaming service initially, as far as their original content went. While their other businesses are slowly beginning to resume “business as usual” with vaccines in the process of being distributed, Disney+ continues to excel past the “pandemic bump” in subscribers when people were first holed up in their homes. The service, as of now, has cleared 100M global subscribers, with Disney now setting a lofty goal of releasing 100 new original offerings for the service per year going forward:

 

 

Nonetheless, there have been long-standing rumors over the past few years that Disney was looking to move on from Kathleen Kennedy in spite of her tenure at Lucasfilm being successful. One investor called in and brought up rumors that Lucasfilm Animation executive and The Mandalorian executive producer, writer, and director Dave Filoni was going to take Kennedy’s job. Bob Chapek swiftly dismissed any rumors of this nature by noting that Kennedy is not going anywhere:

 

 

At one point, it seemed possible that Kennedy would step down from Lucasfilm following the completion of the fifth and final Indiana Jones film, the initial release of which initially coincided with when her current contract was set to expire (Summer 2021) prior to the film’s delay. Given that her involvement with the company began with Raiders of the Lost Ark, and that she helped develop the other three sequels, it seems that completing the fifth and final adventure with Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones, Junior would be a perfect way to bookend her career. However, it sounds like the legendary producer and current Lucasfilm president is staying put, and The Mandalorian and other Disney+ content seems to be the perfect incentive for her to stay, in addition to Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron and other upcoming Star Wars movies being developed by Kevin Feige, Taika Waititi, and Rian Johnson, not to mention the film adaptation of Children of Blood and Bone.

 

Films aside, Kennedy will be busy on the Disney+ side of things as well. Development on the Willow sequel series, for instance, is underway. Meanwhile, there’s a large slate of animated (The Bad Batch, Visions, A Droid Story) and live-action (The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka, Lando, Rangers of the New Republic, The Acolyte) Star Wars series on her plate. It stands to reason that due to the sheer volume of the shows and movies announced at last December’s big presentation, she has no plans to exit the company anytime soon – and since Bob Chapek seems to be happy with how the franchise has performed on the big and small screens, he appears happy to continue with Kennedy as President of Lucasfilm for years to come.