He was most detailed on the Han Solo film. It will span 6 years – Alden Ehrenreich’s Han from the ages of 18 to 24 – and deal with him meeting Chewbacca and “finding” the Millennium Falcon. WSJ reporter Ben Fritz tweeted about Han “finding his name,” which a lot of folks are jumping on. I’m a little more hesitant – it’s not designated as a direct quote, and the meaning could easily be making his name. So don’t place any flags in your theories yet!
For The Last Jedi, he said they won’t change the film due to Carrie Fisher’s death. “Her performance remains as it is in VIII. In Rogue One, we had some digital character. We are not doing that with Carrie.” He also promised that Mark Hamill will do “a lot of talking.”
Remember that rumor that Dench would be playing Mon Mothma in The Force Awakens? And then remember how Genevieve O’Reilly actually showed up in a Rogue One trailer with none of us even hearing a hint of it beforehand? Gotta wonder if some major wire crossing happened in the rumor streams. Ahh, memories.
Also in The Last Jedi news…
→ In yesterday’s Disney earning call (which also gave us the Star Wars land dates) CEO Bob Iger admitted to seeing a cut of The Last Jedi. “It’s a great next chapter in the Skywalker family saga,” he said. (Of course.)
Yes, I’m a bit behind on this one, but sometimes 10 inches of snow happens and you have to shovel it. Twice. And then, uh, go to a thing in-between. Which brings us to the real reason for this item: To remind you that reviews for Rogue One come off embargo at noon EST (9 a.m. PST) tomorrow. Consider yourself warned!
→ Bob Iger does the CEO thing and plays it safe re: that one boycott. “Frankly, this is a film that the world should enjoy. It is not a film that is, in any way, a political film. There are no political statements in it, at all.” This film? Maybe. The franchise? Well…
Disney CEO Bob Iger doesn’t expect Rogue One to do quite as well at the box office as The Force Awakens, but he says the audience interest they’ve seen has been just as high for the new film. (Did anyone expect that? You don’t get a $2B film every year.) “We love what we’ve seen,” he told investors of the Rogue One rough cut.
He also revealed that they have a writer for the third Star Wars standalone due in 2020, and he recently met with Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy to plot out beyond that as well.
We’ve known since the Disney purchase that Lucasfilm plans to take the saga films beyond 2019’s Episode IX, but it remains to be seen if they’ll keep to the current schedule to leave only a year between the current and next trilogy.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Disney’s Bob Iger talks about the futures of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, as well as the challenges of running Disney.
On Rogue One:
I’ve seen Rogue One. I’ve seen not only an edited picture but I’ve seen significantly more footage than was even in that picture. That’s actually going to be a fine film.
Iger doesn’t expect Indiana Jones to become as extensive a franchise as Star Wars, but he does say that Indy 5 won’t be a one-off. “We’re focused on a reboot, or a continuum and then a reboot of some sort.” On Harrison Ford:
Well, we’ll bring him back, then we have to figure out what comes next. That’s what I mean. It’s not really a reboot, it’s a boot — a reboot. I don’t know.
That’s… Intriguing? But anything after Indy 5 all seems a way off at this point.
The interview also goes into the ever-present parks and ESPN business.
In the old Legends universe, the two met while Han was serving in the Imperial military and Chewbacca was a slave. Han’s refusal to kill the Wookiee led to their eventual partnership and Chewbacca’s life debt – elements that may or may not be incorporated into the film. (I’d bet on not, but stranger things have happened.) In the current canon, there’s nothing on record about Chewbacca’s life between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. – or Han’s before ANH, though he was in consideration for ROTS.
Disney’s earnings call yesterday, CEO Bob Iger said that the release date for 2018’s Han Solo standalone will remain in May – at least for the moment – despite Episode VIII’s pushback to December.
He revealed that filming has begun on VIII, and that The Force Awakens tie-ins have earned the company more than $3 billion globally. Hopefully this means we’ll get a dedicated announcement and updated cast list very soon…
Filming on the next Star Wars film, December’s Rogue One, is “virtually completed.” He also confirmed that Disney will break ground on the new Star Wars attractions at Disneyland and Disney World later this year. (A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it glimpse of one of the attractions showed up in a commercial for the Disneyland 60 TV special.)
During Disney’s biennial D23 Expo, Bob Iger stormed the stage to the tune of John Williams’ titular Imperial March to deliver arguably the biggest news of the Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios panel: Dual, 14-acre themed Star Wars lands in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida and the Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California.
From the official press release: “I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Iger. “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”
A true collaboration between Disney Imagineering, ILM, and Lucasfilm, the Star Wars land will be a truly immersive and authentic experience. Both lands will feature two signature attractions, one of which is piloting the Millennium Falcon on a clandestine mission. Iger stressed that every element would feel as if you were a part of the world: restaurants, storefronts, and entertainment would all feature galactic characters for an authentic interactive experience.
And yes, there’s going to be a cantina.
Later Saturday, during D23 Expo’s Parks and Resorts panel, additional details on the recently announced Star Wars Land were revealed along with more immediate changes coming to the domestic parks towards the end of this year.
Season of the Force
Season of the Force will be a limited-time, seasonal event in 2016 at both Disney World and the Disneyland, bringing new Star Wars experiences to both parks. At Tomorrowland in Disneyland, guests will have an opportunity to partake of Star Wars-themed entertainment, food and beverages, and new merchandise. The popular Space Mountain coaster will be turned into Hyperspace Mountain with a temporary Star Wars layover in which you’ll get to experience a high-octane X-Wing battle. On the other side of the country, guests of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be treated to a new fireworks spectacular set to John Williams’ memorable Star Wars scores.
Star Wars Launch Bay
Also at both parks will be the newly created Star Wars Launch Bay that will be located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. The Launch Bay will be a hub for interactive experiences for guests that want to learn more about The Force Awakens, as well as an opportunity to purchase special merchandise and food. It’s expected to open late this year.
The ever-popular Star Tours: The Adventure Continues will see a new update later this year in both U.S. parks. (Information on the update availability coming to the international parks is currently unknown.) The anticipated updates will be include locations and characters from The Force Awakens.
At this point, the Star Wars invasion is real and it’s happening. I’ll see you all in the pit.
In less tedious speculation, anyone keeping up with the latest live-action show rumors will be happy to hear what Iger to is saying regarding Netflix. In an interview with CNBC, he talked about “taking advantage of Netflix’s great growth” and that they’ve come forward as “an aggressive buyer of original programming.”