Episode VII roundup: Kennedy in, McCallum out

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.

Actors. The real question is who doesn’t want in on Star Wars, but thus far we’ve heard from Derek Jacobi, David Tennant, plus Thor’s Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston.

6 Replies to “Episode VII roundup: Kennedy in, McCallum out”

  1. Oh thank god McCallum is gone. A passionate advocate, sure, but such a blatant yes-man in my opinion. Hopefully Ms. Kennedy will not be afraid of dissenting opinions.

  2. In my opinion it’s not the job of a producer to say no to things or to influence the story or the general presentation of a film. Producers are supposed to enable their directors to get things done: on time and on budget, something that the always revered Gary Kurtz failed to do in as miserable a way as possible. Thanks to Kurtz and Kershner, Empire almost killed Lucas’ plans for independence, and given that, who’s to blame Lucas for bringing in producers who actually knew something about time management and budgeting. It worked on Jedi, it worked on Young Indy, it worked on the prequels. Blaming McCallum for the PT’s many failings is just Lucas bashing without actually aiming at Lucas who – as writer, director and executive producer – controlled the creative side entirely.
    So personally I agree with IGN: LFL should have reported McCallum’s leaving the company in a better, more proper manner.

  3. A producer’s job varies greatly, depending on his level of involvement. True, as Aaron says, they often handle the schedule and budgeting.However, they often take a creative role as well, especially if it comes to reigning in a director’s vision. And this is where I agree with Emily. I too see McCallum as a yes man, and am not terribly unhappy to see him go. I don’t consider this disguised Lucas bashing, as I appreciate the maker and have heartfelt gratitude for the things he’s given us. However, I also feel that what made Star Wars great was the collaboration and refinement of GL’s wonderful ideas that comes from other people stepping up in trying circumstances. I fear, that by the time the prequels were made, many new faces were afraid to step up and voice their opinions, and that those movies suffered for it. No matter who you are, being surrounded by “yes men” is going to hurt your end product.

  4. Hazy, you took the words right out of my mouth. I was attempting to come up with a way to clarify and you did it for me. Agree completely.

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