March 8, 2023
by Bespin Bulletin

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Back in 2019, Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige, announced that they’d be producing a Star Wars movie together. Feige, a life long Star Wars fan, was happy to step into the galaxy far, far away to produce a single film for Lucasfilm when the Marvel Cinematic Universe was thriving with the studio coming off the back of the ever successful Avengers: Endgame. Word on the Feige project was quiet for a number of years, with only a rumoured release window of December 2027 ever muttered, but in May of 2022, we finally received a significant update on the film. Writer of Loki and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Michael Waldron, confirmed that he’d already been hard at work writing the Feige produced movie. During the time of Waldron’s involvement being revealed, fans became somewhat hopeful that Feige’s movie would see the light of day, with the rumoured December 2027 release seeming likely.

Shortly after the release of the Doctor Strange sequel, Star Wars fans became divided on Waldron’s appointment given the mixed audience reaction to Multiverse of Madness, despite the commercial and critical success of Loki and Waldron’s work on Rick and Morty. Just a handful of months after it was revealed that Waldron was tackling Feige’s Star Wars flick, Waldron was hired to write Marvel’s biggest project since Endgame, likely their biggest project ever, Avengers: Secret Wars, which is due for release in 2026. Some feared at the time that Waldron’s new appointment could impact the development of the Star Wars film he was creating alongside Kevin Feige given the magnitude of the task of Secret Wars and with the project due to release a year before the rumoured release date of the Feige Star Wars film. Rumours began to swirl towards the tail end of last year that the Feige and Waldron Star Wars flick was no longer in active development and that the project could be dead. Today, Variety are reporting that the Kevin Feige produced Star Wars movie is no longer in development.

Since Lucasfilm’s announcement in September 2019 that the Marvel Studios president who be helming a Star Wars movie, things have significantly changed for the man behind the MCU. Since the start of 2020, Marvel Studios have produced eight films, two television specials and seven live-action Disney+ series. In addition, there’s currently nineteen projects for the Marvel Cinematic Universe announced. Marvel Studios are going through their busiest time ever, but are hitting a point where most of their theatrical releases, and some of their TV series, are receiving mixed reactions from audiences. Marvel’s theatrical releases are also not seeing the commercial success that the studio has become used to, with only Spider-Man: No Way Home, a film by Sony Pictures that Marvel Studios helped produce, crossing the billion dollar mark. Of course the global pandemic must be factored it, but with mixed reaction to almost every film since 2019, it seems as if Marvel Studios has lost their lustre a tad. The reason behind the Feige produced Star Wars flick no longer being in development is reportedly due to the Marvel Studios presidents ever growing number of projects that’ll keep Kevin Feige busy for the next decade.

In December of 2020, during the Disney Investors Day, Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, revealed that Wonder Woman director, Patty Jenkins, would helm the next Star Wars film, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, which was due to release in December 2023. Just like the Feige flick, Rogue Squadron would be a standalone movie, with rumours of Squadron talking place sometime after the events of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Less than a year later, Rogue Squadron, was indefinitely delayed due to Patty Jenkins’ commitments to a third Wonder Woman film. The delay of Rogue Squadron garnered a mixed response from fans with some being disappointed, and others being somewhat revealed following the release of the very disappointing Wonder Woman 1984. Last year Jenkins parted ways with Warner Bros. Discovery after the plug was pulled on her third Wonder Woman instalment, with many reports surrounding the departure, Jenkins attempted to address some headlines and revealed that Rogue Squadron was still in development to fans disbelief. However, just like the Kevin Feige project, Variety are reporting that Rogue Squadron is longer in development at Lucasfilm, despite Jenkins claims.

One theatrical project we’ve had word on from time to time since it’s initial announcement is the film being written by Taika Waititi and Krysty Wilson Cairns, which the former would also direct. The project was announced in May 2020, with Kathleen Kennedy reaffirming project at the 2020 Disney’s Investors Day where a fresh take was promised and a new logo for the film was revealed. The Waititi was long rumoured to release in December 2025, two years after the planned release of Rogue Squadron, and just like Rogue Squadron and the Kevin Feige flick, the Waititi film was believed to be a standalone movie. Following the indefinite delay of Rogue Squadron, Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, revealed that the project being developed by Waititi would be the next Star Wars to hit theatres, and claimed the project was arrive in “late” 2023, two years up from its long rumoured release window. Following Kennedy’s comments, Waititi downplayed the claims, revealing a decision likely wouldn’t be made until he turned in a script, which he’d yet to do. The placeholder date Lucasfilm retained for a December 2023 was removed, with the next Star Wars film slated for release in December 2025, the original placeholder of the Waititi film. However, during this time, a new Star Wars theatrical project reared its head.

In the Summer of last year, the trades began reporting that a new Star Wars film was being written by Damon Lindelof, the mind behind The Leftovers and Watchmen series. Lindelof found a co-writer in Justin Britt Gibson (Into the Badlands) and a director in Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Ms. Marvel) and momentum on the project grew rapidly throughout the year. Jeff Sneider reported that the Lindelof project had now taken the coveted December 2025 release window, with plans to shoot the project by the Summer of 2023, with Lindelof apparently already finding the films leads. This development left fans scratching their heads as to what happened to the Taika Waititi project as the film has now been in development for three years, but according to Variety, the film still is very much in development.

According to Variety, Taika Waititi is still hard at work on his Star Wars project and they’ve revealed that he will also star in the project. The role in which Taika Waititi would helm is supposedly one of prominence, with the outlet comparing it to the size of his role of Adolf Hitler in his 2019 release, Jojo Rabbit. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as Waititi usually crafts himself a role in his projects, he played the character of Korg in both movies Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder, as well Viago in What We Do in the Shadows and the minister in Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

Variety claim that what Star Wars film releases in December 2025 remains a closely guarded secret at Lucasfilm, but that the studio plans to unveil its future slate at Star Wars Celebration which kicks off on April 7th with the Lucasfilm Studio Showcase panel. As previously mentioned, the momentum is currently with the Lindelof project, and it seems in pole position to win the race of the December 2025 release window. I’m also glad that the Taika Waititi project is still being developed, and I’m curious to see if it makes this upcoming film slate given that it’s been reported previously that the Lindelof project, though a standalone one, is being set up for a series of films if the initial project is a success. Anyway, we don’t have very long to wait until some of the questions we have will finally be answered.

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