May 30, 2024
by Bespin Bulletin

According to The New York Times, the latest Star Wars live-action series, The Acolyte, reportedly had hearty budget of one hundred and eighty million dollars. This news from The New York Times comes way of an interview with the series creator, showrunner, writer and director Leslye Headland.

Previously it was reported by Forbes that forty nine million dollars was spent on pre-production alone on The Acolyte, leaving one hundred and thirty million dollars left for principal photography, reshoots and post-production. One hundred and eighty million dollars on eight episodes of The Acolyte is a hefty spend, but it’s not the most expensive Star Wars series to date, that luxury falls to the first season of Andor, which had a budget of a whopping two hundred and fifty million dollars for twelve episodes. The two series mentioned were both produced in the United Kingdom, where the productions will receive tax breaks, hence why the budget of the shows can be higher than expected.

The Acolyte and Andor both received notably higher budgets than the Disney+ Star Wars series that are produced in California such as The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka. The Star Wars series set to follow The Acolyte later in the year, Skeleton Crew, reportedly has the biggest budget of all the California based productions with a budget of one hundred and thirty six million dollars. Skeleton Crew also received tax credits in California for its production.

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I have not seen The Acolyte, but I know of various people that have seen the first two episodes and according to them, that budget can be seen on screen with good practical effects and VFX. The quality was described to me as more akin to Andor than any of the California produced series, which has been iffy visually, primarily due to the often short post production times (Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Book of Boba Fett) and over reliance on the volume to keep costs low.

Set during the High Republic era, The Acolyte, will follow an investigation into a shocking crime spree pits a respected Jedi Master (Lee Jung-jae) against a dangerous warrior from his past (Amandla Stenberg). As more clues emerge, they travel down a dark path where sinister forces reveal all is not what it seems.

The Acolyte stars Amandla Stenberg (Bodies, Bodies, Bodies) as the lead, as well as Lee Jung Jae (Squid Game), Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials), Manny Jacinto (The Good Place), Jodie Turner-Smith (After Yang), Charlie Bennett (Russian Doll), Rebecca Henderson (Inventing Anna), Dean Charles Chapman (1917), Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) and Margarita Levieva (Daredevil: Born Again).

The Acolyte premieres on Disney+ on June 4th with TWO episodes.

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