Disney’s Star Wars theme park plans will be revealed “later in 2015.” Bob Iger said yesterday that the plans are ‘ambitious.’
Jason at Making Star Wars has seen a yet-unreleased publicity picture of Han, Leia and Chewbacca. Yes, Leia! It’s a January miracle.
→ In a Disney shareholder meeting, Bob Iger praised Episode VII (why wouldn’t he?) and reiterates that we can expect VIII in 2017, IX in 2019, and hints that there may be more Episodes after this. (Which, to be fair, we’ve known since the start. None of this is really new information, people are just treating it like it is.) /Film unpacks the statement, and while I think they’re reaching at parts (“these characters” to me reads more Star Wars in general than just the new folks) the analysis is pretty sound.
→ Oscar Isaac revealed to HuffPostUK how J.J. Abrams reacted to Harrison Ford’s leg injury, which kind of makes it sound like Ford slipped the guy some of the good drugs, honestly.
→ Latino Review says we’ll see practical versions of a familiar alien, which will likely be reused for the spin-off.
Fortune has a photo of Bob Iger with The Force Awaken’s Millennium Falcon, courtesy Industrial Light & Magic:
Yannick Dusseault, visual effects art director for The Force Awakens, and his team gave Fortune six options showing the Falcon in different ways. The resulting image required the custom rendering of ILM’s computer generated Falcon. According to ILM, the fabled ship was rendered in wireframe form (a skeletal version) as well as a more layered “textured render,” which were combined in Photoshop to create the final image.
Iger is the magazine’s latest cover story, one focusing on Disney and technology.
→ Variety hosted a Bob Iger Q&A today, where the Disney chief revealed that theme park plans for the franchise will be based mainly on things from the upcoming films. “I didn’t want someone to say, ‘I just saw the movie and there’s nothing in that movie in this (attraction),” he said. “We waited to see what this film would have in it.”
He also revealed that they debated whether to release an early trailer at all, and that J.J. Abrams’ use of physical sets and props have given the film a “wow factor.”
→ Andy Serkis says that his trailer speech “emotionally rooted” his character – go ahead and add that one to your speculation file.
→ In light of yesterday’s revelation that George Lucas hasn’t seen The Force Awakens trailer and all the hay that was made of it yesterday, Eleven Thirty-Eight has a nice reminder today that George’s perspective is not our perspective.
→ Cracked’s four stupidest reactions to The Force Awakens trailer. Yeah, pretty much.
→ Rumor corner: Making Star Wars details a chase scene, and some new ships.
Bob Iger signs on to Disney through 2018. He’s been CEO since 2005, and is the guy behind the Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm acquisitions. Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy has occasionally come up as a wild card to succeed him.
Today, Latino Review’s Da7e Gonzales claims that there’s indeed a struggle behind the scenes to push Episode VII back to May 2016, with JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy on one side and Disney’s Bob Iger on the other. (As we’ve heard before – but from LR, so.) Their bargaining tool? Harrison Ford’s leg, which I think has more press than rest of the cast combined at this point.
Of course we know Lucasfilm is still sticking to December 18, 2015 – but then, they would be. That is the release date – at the moment, anyway.
There are a thousand other considerations when a huge corporation like Disney is involved, but from the fan end, would any of us really object to May, if it comes to pass? I’d certainly prefer it, but the movie’s release date was never going to be my hill to die on.
In any case, this paragraph in particular makes the upmost sense to me:
The franchise and it’s spinoff films will likely be big no matter what, but the value of owning Star Wars is owning the bottomless well of potential money and that means plugging into nostalgia. Star Wars as a franchise can’t pull a Rise/Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and drastically change tones, Star Wars can’t reboot. Star Wars is continuous. Kathleen Kennedy cannot have an Episode VII that botches the handoff between Star Was and Star Is.
Star Wars may not really need to be ‘fixed’ after the prequels – I’m not even a big prequel fan and I think it’s silly to say the franchise was ‘broken’ by them – but there is a perception issue in the mainstream. The mainstream thought the prequels were bad. We can argue about whether that’s been softening until the cows come home, but the fact remains that the perception is there and it’s still plenty powerful. It still, to this day, colors how many people see Star Wars.
Kennedy needs to usher Star Wars into something that can last for Disney. She knows they can’t afford to stick the landing by releasing a rushed, subpar Episode VII with the future of the franchise hanging in the balance.
Episode VII will make Disney millions, maybe billons, not matter when it’s released or how good (or bad) it is. No matter what movie it opens against. But if Star Wars is going to last beyond a third trilogy, it’s going to need some careful cultivation. There are a whole lot of people to convince, and most of them aren’t those of us who follow every drip and drabble of news, or who know that just using the terms ‘bad’ and ‘prequels’ in the same sentence will lead to a tedious debate in certain company. Lucasfilm and Disney both need the mainstream, and they need to convince them that Star Wars is, and can be, ‘good’ again.
Of course, this story of an internal struggle and using an old man’s innocent leg as a bargaining chip is only a rumor, and none of this may pan out in any way; You know the drill. And even if it is true, plenty of great films have come from crazier turmoil than this. We simply won’t know until the movie actually comes out – whenever that ends up being.
Bob Iger confirms third spin-off film. At today’s Disney earnings call, chairman Bob Iger said they have “at least three” standalone Star Wars films in mind. No details, naturally.
We know Peter Mayhew is in, and that is a very good, dare I say, screen-ready Chewbacca… Though it was Alan Horn, not Bob Iger, that we know for sure would be in London around this time. But if this was a (new?) theme park Chewie, wouldn’t they have someone in it? And why would they post it on the official Star Wars Instagram instead of a Parks one? So yes, it’s not too much of a stretch to believe this is the Episode VII Chewbacca costume!
Noteworthy: StarWars.com’s Matt Martin says “The image was supplied to is without much context. No idea where/when it was taken.” And the official (well, verified) @StarWarsUK account says it is from Episode VII, but Matt says it was only speculation on their part. Curious.
Or, the grass is green, but if you’re keeping track, here are the pertinent remarks from the Disney earnings call earlier this week, via Yahoo.
“In addition to the Star Wars feature films that we’ve already talked about, we’re also working on opportunities for television and our parks,” Iger said. “It’s still very early in the process. We’ll announce details as these developments evolve.”
The events of the past month have made it clear that Star Wars is undergoing a major shift, and it’s made a lot of fans question the Disney sale. And those words – the “Disney sale” – are part of the problem. The sale is over and done with. What we’re going through now is more jarring, and a lot more ambitious. We’re going through a Star Wars reboot.