In the wake of the disappointing box office opening of Solo: A Star Wars Story last month, Disney’s head of distribution Dave Hollis revealed that the studio would be spending some time evaluating why the latest instalment of the blockbuster soap opera franchise failed to connect with audiences, and how they approach the Star Wars series in future.
Well, if rumours are to be believed, it seems the first step in that process is to put all of the Anthology spinoffs on hold, with Collider reporting that all attention will now be focussed squarely on Star Wars: Episode IX and the next trilogy after that, which “is expected to conclude the story of Rey that began in Star Wars: The Force Awakens“.
Apparently, Lucasfilm had been heavily involved in pre-production on the long-rumoured Obi-Wan Kenobi movie, and that work has now been shut down indefinitely, while the hold will also presumably apply to the Boba Fett movie, which Logan helmer James Mangold signed on to write and direct last month. Other Anthology movies which have been rumoured to be on the cards include films focusing on Master Yoda and Jabba the Hutt.
The report goes on to state that the decision to put the Anthology movies on hold will not impact Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson’s trilogy, nor the planned series of films from Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, but relates solely to those projects that would fall under the ‘A Star Wars Story’ banner.
Having grossed just $341 million to date, Solo is far and away the lowest grossing chapter of the Star Wars saga, even without accounting for inflation on the earlier instalments. Disney is expected to lose upwards of $80 million on the Ron Howard-directed film, and there’s even talk that Kathleen Kennedy will be stepping down from her position as head of Lucasfilm.
Given Solo’s poor performance – not to mention the hugely divisive reception to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – it certainly shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Disney and Lucasfilm are looking to take stock of their handling of the franchise. However, it should be stressed that this report is unconfirmed at present, but we will keep you posted as more information becomes available.
What do you make of this news? Were you interested in seeing more Anthology movies? Or do you think this is the right decision on Disney and Lucasfilm’s part? Let us know in the comments below…