February 16, 2023
by Bespin Bulletin

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Almost three years ago it was announced by Lucasfilm that the director behind commercial hits Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder, as well as critical darlings Jojo Rabbit and The Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Taika Waititi, was set to direct a Star Wars film which he would also co-write alongside Krysty Wilson-Cairns, the writer behind 1917, Last Night in Soho and The Good Nurse.

Since it’s announcement we’ve had minor updates over the years. Initially the project was due to release in 2025, and Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, showed a logo for the film along with a piece of concept art for the flick at the end of 2020 during Disney’s investors day. Since then Waititi and Wilson-Cairns have only said they’re still working on the project, but in the Summer of last year, Kennedy revealed that movie was due to release in late 2023, replacing Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron which has been indefinitely delayed. However the director of the project played down this claim by Kennedy, and said a decision wouldn’t be made until he handed in his script, which at the time he had not done.

Since the summer, momentum has grown on a project being written by the mind behind HBO’s Watchmen series and The Leftovers, Damon Lindelof. The story of Lindelof’s project was broken in the Spring, but by the summer, the trades began reporting that the project found a director in Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Ms. Marvel) and that Lindelof had constructed a writers room for the film that’ll take place after the events of The Rise of Skywalker, and that writers room may have included Dave Filoni. In recent weeks, it’s been reported by Above The Line’s editor-in-chief, Jeff Sneider, that Lindelof’s flick will shoot by the Summer and that the film had found its two leads, a man and a woman of colour, and that the actor may be Candyman star, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

Given the momentum behind the Lindelof project, some fans have speculated that Waititi’s film might have been indefinitely delayed or perhaps even cancelled. It’s clear that the project will now play second fiddle to the Lindelof project which now seems to be the priority for Lucasfilm, but the project is reportedly still in development. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Taika Waititi’s film is still in active development at Lucasfilm. Perhaps we’ll get an update on the Waititi project at Star Wars Celebration in April, an event where the next Star Wars film slate will be revealed according to the article from THR and previously by Jeff Sneider.

The article from THR discusses Disney’s future franchise output, not just for Star Wars, but Marvel Studios and Pixar. The article mentions Disney attempting to rein in costs and slowing down entertainment releases. Though Bob Iger recently announced Disney and it’s Disney+ streaming service will lean into its franchises such as Star Wars and Marvel, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed that Marvel Studios will widen the gap between its Disney+ series, and their series output could be less in general. THR mention that costs cuts will be felt throughout the franchises mentioned, but that Marvel Studios could be impacted first given they have the biggest output of content. The article mentions that Marvel Studios and Disney initially planned to release five live-action series this year in the form of Secret Invasion, Loki season two, Echo, Ironheart and Agatha: Coven of Chaos, but only two of those shows are guaranteed to be released this year, Secret Invasion and Loki, as Disney tinkers with post-production and attempts to spread out its content. The article mentions that Lucasfilm still plan on releasing three live-action series this year, The Mandalorian which debuts on March 1st, Ahsoka and Skeleton Crew. The article mentions that though Lucasfilm’s output is less than Marvel’s on Disney+ along with the big screen, and that they’re ramping up a film slate, Lucasfilm will have to “abide by the fiscal discipline” being “outlined and enforced” by Disney.

Though the article reinforced that both Ahsoka and Skeleton Crew would be released this year, there was no update on future television productions, but both The Acolyte and Andor season two are deep into production in the United Kingdom and due to release sometime next year.

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