Disney Shelves Only Scheduled Theatrical Star Wars Film; Is The Future of The Franchise on Disney+?
Fans of the video game franchise “Star Wars: Rogue Squadron” got disappointing news on Thursday. Disney announced that its planned film adaptation of the game, which was scheduled to be released in December 2023 according to Variety, would be taken off its production schedule.
The writing was on the wall for the “Rogue Squadron” movie when it got no mention from the company at the 2022 D23 Expo. Reports surfaced in November of 2021 that the film would be delayed because director Patty Jenkins (“Wonder Woman”) would not be able to commit to the initial production schedule. Now, it’s unlikely the film will ever see the light of day again.
“Rogue Squadron” was supposed to be the first Star Wars film to hit theaters since 2019’s “Rise of Skywalker.” That movie was not well received by critics or fans, so it’s not surprising that Disney gave the franchise a few years to breathe after its release. But following the shelving of “Rogue Squadron,” Disney suddenly doesn’t have a single Star Wars theatrical release scheduled.
Rian Johnson (“The Last Jedi”) was announced to be developing a new trilogy, but in an interview with Vanity Fair in May, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said that project was on the “back burner.” Taika Waititi is writing a script for a Star Wars film, but there are few details available about the project, and it has not been scheduled for release.
All of this uncertainty regarding theatrical releases might leave a Star Wars fan wondering if the franchise is in trouble. With no new movies on the schedule, and really only one that’s in any stage of development at all, many may be asking, “What is the future of Star Wars?”
That future of the franchise may be streaming. Disney might not have any Star Wars movies on the slate, but it has half a dozen live-action and animated shows coming to Disney+ in the next 18 months. Leading the charge is “Andor,” a prequel series to the highly popular “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which is coming to Disney+ on Sept. 21 and has already been picked up for a second season.
Star Wars: Andor
Andor finder sted før begivenhederne i “Rogue One”.
Serien Andor udforsker et nyt perspektiv fra Star Wars-galaksen og fokuserer på Cassian Andors rejse for at opdage den forskel, han kan gøre. Serien fortæller om det spirende oprør mod Imperiet, og hvordan mennesker og planeter blev involveret. Det er en æra fyldt med fare, bedrag og intriger, hvor Cassian vil begynde sin rejse på den vej, der vil gøre ham til en oprørshelt.
Using its streaming platform as the primary developer of projects from an IP with as much reach and appeal as Star Wars is an interesting strategy from Disney. It is the exact opposite of what Warner Bros. Discovery is doing with its streaming service HBO Max. WBD CEO David Zaslav believes that such IPs were meant for theatrical releases, and doesn’t see the value in producing expensive, visual effects-driven shows with big-name stars attached to them.
But as HBO cuts costs, Disney is letting its money do the talking. It brought back Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen for its “Obi-Wan Kenobi” series, and has secured the talents of Rosario Dawson and Jude Law for future Disney+ Star Wars series. In fact, Law’s show, “Star Wars: Skeleton Crew,” will be one of the most expensive series ever made for Disney+, with a price tag of over $100 million for the first season alone, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In all likelihood, there will be another Star Wars film released theatrically by Disney at some point in the relatively near future. But right now, the foreseeable future of the Star Wars franchise is on Disney+, not on the big screen.
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