As we suspected, the post-hiatus Star Wars films will be kicked off with something from Game of Thrones‘ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Bob Iger confirmed today. So now we know they’re handling at least the 2022 film, and… That’s about it. “…the next movie we release will be theirs,” the Disney CEO said at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit. “We’re not saying anything more about that.”
As for TV, Iger also said that there’s likely to be at least one more Star Wars series for Disney+, in addition to Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian (out in November) and Stephen Schiff’s Cassian Andor/K-2SO series (expected for 2020).
“My guess is there probably will be at least one more live-action series that we produce for Disney+, a Star Wars series, before we release the next film,” Iger said. “So we’re not doing nothing. I believe these TV series will be extremely popular for Star Wars fans and very very valuable to Disney+ while we gear up for the next set of films. We haven’t said anything more beyond what we’ve announced on the next film.”
As for the three-year hiatus following The Rise of Skywalker, it is in part to “figure out what’s next.”
“We’re hard at work doing that already,” he said. “Three years was the proper amount of time to not only take a breather and reset, but really gear up for the next film’s release.”
Maybe get some fresher voices in there? While I remain mildly intrigued with the concept of the Cassian show, The Mandalorian looks straight out of Dark Horse’s ’90s comic offerings, and the final season of Game of Thrones is not exactly out there covering itself in glory. I realize there’s a lot of gaps here (Rian Johnson, buddy?) and it’s still early, but I am not particularly optimistic about the state of on-screen Star Wars right now.
Sure, The Mandalorian debuted footage here at Celebration Chicago on Sunday… But they haven’t actually released any of it elsewhere, not even the behind-the-scenes reel. There are a couple of stills and a basic plot breakdown.
The Mandalorian himself isn’t getting a name just yet, but we did learn that he’s working for Carl Weathers’ Greef Carga, who heads up a guild of bounty hunters. Gina Carano is playing Cara Dune, a former Rebel shock trooper, who gets in pulled in… Somehow. More over at StarWars.com.
Here’s the livestream, sans footage. It’s pretty much the Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau show, though Pedro Pascal is pretty hyped up about the whole thing:
For the record, I am never in favor of con-exclusive footage, but hey, if Lucasfilm and Disney would prefer to play whack-a-mole all over the internet with fuzzy subpar copies, that’s their business. Meanwhile, there are many recaps.
It’s for real this time. All of The Clone Wars – the movie, the first five seasons, and “The Lost Missions,” aka S6, is departing Netflix on April 7.
The series is all but certain to return to streaming when Disney+ launches – and though we still haven’t heard if the new episodes will be up there at launch, that seems like a pretty safe bet as well. Disney+ is expected to launch later this year.
As for the gap, well, that’s why they still make Blu-rays: Nothing on streaming is certain forever.
They say the show might be announced at April’s Celebration Chicago. That’s also about the time we expect our first look at The Mandalorian, given reports that Disney will be sharing a first look at Disney+ original content with investors on April 11 – which also happens to be the first day of the con, though panels aren’t expected to begin until the next day.
Bob Iger talks a great deal about the development of Disney+ and the business in-and-outs of the service in an interview with Barron’s. For our purposes, the relevant bit here is that they’re not going to make a Star Wars movie for it:
Almost every movie the studio makes is a $100 million-plus movie, and we’re not looking to make movies at that level for the service. We’re looking to invest significantly in television series on a per-episode business, and we’re looking to make movies that are higher budget, but nothing like that. We wouldn’t make a Star Wars movie for this platform.
This is pretty much a no duh kind of thing – and yes, io9 did that headline first, damn them – but it may have been on people’s minds after Solo. Still, given the rumors we’ve heard about the standalone movies that were in play, they might be better suited for TV anyway. On that note, Iger on the thinking behind doing Star Wars TV for streaming:
I guess we could have made the Star Wars series for ABC if we wanted. But the budget and what we’re spending on it and the nature of the material suggested it would be a perfect anchor for the new service. Because it’s a priority for the company, that needs to be reflected in the trafficking or the direction of where a lot of content goes. There have to be some subjective decisions made on where stuff goes because we have to feed this new beast.
Barron’s being a business-oriented publication, there’s a lot of nitty gritty in the article, but it might shed some light on Disney’s recent decisions.
He also says that the Galaxy’s Edge section at Disneyland will open in June, which is a bit more specific than the previous “summer.”
Now that the streaming service has a name, the marketing for Disney+ has really begun… Along with some inklings of how it will work.
Per Vulture’s Josef Adalian, Star Wars will be one of the “five central content hubs” for the service (along with classic Disney, Marvel, Pixar and National Geographic) so there won’t be much need for Netflix-style scrolling.
We also know that they’re aiming for the monthly price to be less than Netflix (cheapest plan: $7.99). Disney’s ESPN+ streaming service, which launched earlier this year, currently charges $4.99 a month. So I suspect we’ll be looking at something that’ll run fans $5-7 a month. (And maybe even some savings if bundled with an ESPN+ or Hulu subscription?)
But! The content. What’s coming for Star Wars? Here’s what we know for sure, some speculation about what else may be in play, and what we definitely won’t see.
The series, which will go into production next year, follows the adventures of rebel spy Cassian Andor during the formative years of the Rebellion and prior to the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Diego Luna will reprise the role of Andor. “Going back to the Star Wars universe is very special for me,” said Luna. “I have so many memories of the great work we did together and the relationships I made throughout the journey. We have a fantastic adventure ahead of us, and this new exciting format will give us the chance to explore this character more deeply.”
The “rousing spy thriller” doesn’t have a release date yet – just like The Mandalorian. Disney+ is expected to launch next year. A website for the service is now live, where fans can sign up to receive updates.