It looks like Lucasfilm will continue to bet on its most famous properties now and in the future – even if that means brand-new projects fall by the wayside.
According to a recent THR report (opens in new tab), sources close to Lucasfilm claim the Disney-owned studio has “shifted away from developing projects that are new” to instead lean “even more toward those already under its umbrella.” Essentially, expect more movies and TV shows based on existing properties, rather than original content.
Those comments come after the rights to adapt Tomi Adeyemi’s fantasy novel, Children of Blood and Bone – once heralded as an upcoming Lucasfilm project – were picked up by rival studio Paramount.
THR claims that work on a Lucasfilm-produced Children of Blood and Bone adaptation languished as executives prioritized development on Star Wars shows like The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.
Adeyemi herself “grew disenchanted” with the stalling project, sources say, as Lucasfilm refused to accommodate her creative input. Paramount, however, has reportedly allowed Adeyemi to pen the screenplay on the still-in-development adaptation.
As for which projects are being prioritized by Lucasfilm right now, THR lists a series based on 1988 fantasy film Willow, Indiana Jones 5 and “many, many Star Wars movies and shows.”
We’ve detailed several of the latter in this guide, but we know that the likes of Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (from Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins), an untitled Star Wars trilogy from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, and feature films from both Taika Waititi and Marvel boss Kevin Feige could count among those on the horizon.
It's unclear which (if any) of these are still in active development, though.
Analysis: Less is more?
As disappointing as it is to see promising projects like Children of Blood and Bone cast aside in favor of seemingly countless Star Wars spin-offs, it’s not difficult to understand why Lucasfilm would prioritize the latter.
Star Wars remains one of the most beloved (read: lucrative) franchises in the world, and fans will always maintain an appetite for new adventures in a galaxy far, far away. Recent successes like The Mandalorian also prove the viability of Disney’s approach to new Star Wars projects – Jon Favreau’s show quashed fears that TV spin-offs might never be capable of meeting, let alone surpassing, the quality of the original movies.
But absence makes the heart grow fonder, and Lucasfilm risks spoiling the appeal of its golden goose by over-indulging fans with project after project.
Not all of them will resonate, either. Mid-season reactions to The Book of Boba Fett suggest Lucasfilm isn’t automatically onto a winner by having its shows rely on the nostalgic appeal of once beloved characters.
In fact, in the case of Boba Fett, the studio risks tarnishing the legacy (opens in new tab) of these characters by portraying them in an altogether different light (a fact subtly acknowledged by actor Temuera Morrison in the below interview).
Temuera Morrison didn't like the writing in The Book of Boba Fett. He thinks Boba Fett talks way too much and tried to get it fixed multiple times. pic.twitter.com/kjXzb3WXYYJanuary 17, 2022
There is no doubt that Lucasfilm will continue to fill Disney’s coffers by leaning on projects “already under its umbrella” – but heeding the expression ‘quality over quantity’ may be a better route to bringing more Star Wars fans back on side.
What's more, while Star Wars is the jewel in Lucasfilm's crown, adapting newer works like Children of Blood and Bone would likely draw in new audiences who aren't fussed about George Lucas' universe.
Diversifying its back catalog, instead of solely focusing on its largest and most lucrative franchises, then, should really be Lucasfilm's priority.