Tony To joins Lucasfilm as head of production and development. A former executive VP of production at Walt Disney Studios, he’ll report to Kathleen Kennedy and oversee “all live-action and animation production.” For our purposes on the ground, perhaps the most interesting part of the Variety story is this: Lucasfilm has “several TV projects in various stages of development on its slate.” Curious…
Ron Moore on arguing with George Lucas. “Are you really going to argue with George Lucas about what Darth Vader would do?” The executive producer of SyFy’s Battlestar Galactica revival was revealed as one of the writers on the shelved live-action series just over a year ago.
Their speculation that includess the Darth Vader special we heard of seems off-base – I’d guess that’s more of a documentary/existing footage thing.
A live-action show is certainly not outside of the realm of possibility, though Disney and Lucasfilm have claimed that they’re focusing on Episode VII (and Rebels) right now. Waiting until the new movie era is firmly established – as Marvel did – would be the smart thing, I think.
Live-action series. There’ s been at least one sign of hope that Disney may let the Star Wars live-action series see the light of day. Now Blue Sky Disney’s Honor Hunter reports that the success of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot may lead to more internal development (see also: Peggy Carter,) and that the Star Wars show may get retooled – not only to bring the ratings to a more ABC-friendly level, but perhaps to shift the time period of the show may shift as well – from the current intertrilogy era to between Return of the Jedi and the new films.
Time will tell – Hunter suspects we won’t even hear anything official until 2014 at the earliest, and I myself wouldn’t be shocked if such a thing doesn’t go into production until we’re looking at a mostly-completed sequel trilogy, for much the same reasons we’re getting Rebels as opposed to a post-ROTJ show. But in any case – no one’s forgetting about a live-action show, and we may see some version of Underworld after all. Of course, it’s all rumor – but it’s something.
Meanwhile, in Britain… Jedi News’ Episode VII spy says that the Pinewood stages currently being used for Cinderella will be handed over to Lucasfilm in November, with principal photography to start on February 24.
Your moment of zen. And here’s something totally solid: ThinkGeek is selling some of the Celebration Europe exclusives, so if you’re yearning for a Darth Vader beer stein, Death Star Soccer Ball, talking tauntaun or futball scarf, it’s your lucky day.
IGN’s Eric Goldman asked ABC’s Paul Lee about seeing Star Wars make the jump to TV today. His answer was a bit roundabout, naturally:
“I certainly have a glint in my eye. They have a lot on their plate when you look at the features that they’re planning on rolling out for the next few years, but we’ve started conversations with them.”
He went on to say “It would be nice to use other strong Disney IP” and that “It’s an amazing world.” I wouldn’t count on seeing or hearing much soon, but at least we know a live-action option is still on their minds.
Producer Rick McCallum, who worked on the Star Wars prequels and Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, has revealed his next project to The Hollywood Reporter: R’Ha, a “high-concept sci-fi feature.” The film’s script is being written by Life on Mars co-creator Matthew Graham, who THR says was one of the lead writers on the shelved Star Wars live action series. (He was reported as working on the show in 2011, but it was never, to my knowledge, confirmed.)
R’Ha was created by Kaleb Lechowski, who will be directing the film based on his short of the same name.
ABC entertainment president Paul Lee tells Entertainment Weekly that the network isn’t going to be ignoring the live-action series.
“We’d love to do something with Lucasfilm, we’re not sure what yet,” Lee exclusively told EW. “We haven’t even sat down with them. We’re going to look at [the live-action series], we’re going to look at all of them, and see what’s right. We weren’t able to discuss this with them until [the acquisition] closed and it just closed. It’s definitely going to be part of the conversation.”
Some of the financial concerns that Lucasfilm faced producing the series on their own are moot under the Disney deal, the article points out. Lee compares it to the Joss Whedon’s S.H.I.E.L.D. show that ABC is also working on.
They also have what might be the most detailed summary we have yet to see… From ‘sources,’ mind:
Sources say the live-action series centers on the story of rival families struggling over the control of the seedy underside of the Star Wars universe and the people who live within the subterranean level and air shafts of the metropolis planet Coruscant (the Empire’s urban-sprawl-covered home planet). A bounty hunter may be the main character.
And apparently some of the concept and character designs are being used in 1313…
They also, I think, are the first to reveal that Ron Moore (Battlestar Galactica) may be involved…
Behind the scenes. IGN’s Lucy O’Brien has a nice profile of Kathleen Kennedy, “Star Wars’ new Emperor,” and her film-making resume.
Meanwhile, shuffling up into the spotlight is the news that Rick McCallum has retired from Lucasfilm. The big question seems to be where this leaves the live-action series, which McCallum has been the main ambassador for and which hasn’t been much mentioned since D-Day. Honestly, given what’s been said of it so far, it’s one project that I don’t really mind staying on the back burner for a while longer.
Outside looking in. Scott Myers looks at some of the recent information and surmises that Disney may be taking the Pixar approach to Star Wars story development.
Rick McCallum talked to IGN about – what else – the live-action series. He reiterates the cost and technical issues with doing the series, saying, “They’re so complicated. Each hour has more visual effects, digital animation, than any of the films we’ve done.” He also clarifies his previous comments on ‘underworld,‘ saying that while the term has plenty of meaning for the series, it’s not a working title. Also: A Star Wars theme park and Joe Johnston’s hopes to helm a Boba Fett movie, and what’s on the horizon for George Lucas. And the interview ends when ‘1313’ is brought up. Curious! (via)
It’s been a while since we’ve had a silly rumor about the Star Wars live-action series to giggle over, but thankfully there’s Ain’t It Cool News to get things going. Today: Time travel! No, really:
Daniel tells us that one of the series’ first episodes will involve a group of bandits acquiring the capability of time travel, and using it to travel back in time to stop Darth Vader from ever existing.
Sounds like someone’s been watching a bit too much Terminator! Thanks, AICN. Glad to know you’re there when we need a laugh. (via)
P.S.: It’s Expanded Universe. Not Extended. Expanded.