Kathleen Kennedy Damaged Star Wars; Disney Just Extended Her Contract


 

Following last week’s reporting that Patty Jenkins’ Star Wars film will be postponed indefinitely, rumors began circulating that claimed that the decision was made due to “creative differences” between the filmmaker and Lucasfilm management.  Media outlets like The Hollywood Reporter claimed that the delay was due to Jenkins’ hectic schedule. Her other obligations, including the upcoming Wonder Woman 3 for Warner Bros., will preclude her from filming Rogue Squadron next year in time for a 2023 release. According to the source, there was optimism that once Jenkins’ schedule cleared, she’d return to finish what she started with Matthew Robinson (Love and Monsters), who was writing the script.

 

But now word comes from former Hollywood Reporter editor and known insider Matthew Belloni, that the picture was pulled off Lucasfilm’s production schedule due to disagreements between Jenkins and the company. According to Belloni, the challenges have centered on the film’s screenplay, with Jenkins and studio officials, notably senior VP Michelle Rejwan, unable to reach an agreement on how to proceed.

 

 

“I talked to a few insiders this week that said the real culprit was the dreaded ‘creative differences’; specifically, Jenkins couldn’t agree on the script with Lucasfilm executives, including senior V.P. Michelle Rejwan,” writes Belloni. “Jenkins wasn’t willing to dick around, and she has other projects, notably Wonder Woman 3 at Warner Bros., where she enjoys more creative freedom.”

 

Belloni mentions that a number of agents have previously indicated that prominent directors are frequently eager to sign up for a movie within the Star Wars series, but are repeatedly stymied by “micromanagement and plot-point-by-committee” methods. According to Belloni, this is a “laughably recurring problem” at Lucasfilm.  Even pointing out that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss “bailed” on developing a new Star Wars trilogy, as did Rian Johnson, whose own trilogy was canceled, according to Belloni.

 

 

 

Most notably, the studio fired Phil Lord and Chris Miller while they were filming Solo: A Star Wars Story, and brought in Ron Howard to finish the picture, which remains the franchise’s largest box office disaster, grossing less than $400 million worldwide. Due to creative disputes, Lucasfilm’s work with director Colin Trevorrow for Episode IX also terminated prematurely, resulting in the return of J.J. Abrams and The Rise of Skywalker, not to mention the issues with Josh Trank who was removed from a Boba Fett film, and Tony Gilroy batting clean-up for Gareth Edwards on Rogue One.

 

Belloni’s subtitle for the article sums it up nicely: “Kathleen Kennedy is one of the most prolific producers in Hollywood history. But it’s time for someone else to manage the Star Wars franchise.”

 

Disney apparently isn’t listening. They just extended her contract an additional three years.

 

 

Rogue Squadron was first announced back in December of last year, with Wonder Woman filmmaker Patty Jenkins heralded as the first female director of a Star Wars film. The film was originally planned to be released in December 2023, but this recent production delay has left it unclear whether it will meet that timeline, or even get made at all. That could mean that the only other Star Wars feature in the works is Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige’s project, which is rumored to be directed by Chloé Zhao who’s Eternals is the worst reviewed MCU film in history. 

 

 

Indiana Jones 5 has been a disaster, Star Wars is a highly damaged brand, and everything about her endeavors is politicized. Star Wars is still dead, and it’s going to remain that way.


Karina Smitt

I'm not as much of a "CoMiCs NeEd MoAr DiVeRsItY & iNcLuSiOn" advocate as my girlfriend often is, but we both love funny books, crispy bacon, straight bourbon and hip hop. Add yet, we never vote the same, so we cancel each other out... and that works perfectly in my book!

JUST KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON