It’s unclear if Jenkins has left the project altogether at this time, but Lucasfilm is no stranger to high-profile breakups with A-list filmmakers. Most famously, the studio parted ways with Phil Lord and Chris Miller while they were filming Solo: A Star Wars Story, and brought in Ron Howard to finish the movie, which remains the franchise’s biggest failure at the box office, earning less than $400 million globally. Lucasfilm’s collaboration with director Colin Trevorrow on Episode IX also ended prematurely due to creative differences, leading to the return of J.J. Abrams and The Rise of Skywalker.
Citing Hollywood agents, Belloni says the reason for Lucasfilm’s tumultuous track record is that “top filmmakers are dying to make a Star Wars movie—until they sign on and experience the micromanagement and plot-point-by-committee process.”
Like Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm seems to value the voice of the many over the vision of a singular storyteller, with the buck stopping at Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, who has led the Star Wars franchise to over $6 billion at the box office over five movies, but hasn’t always been a popular steward for the saga among a certain group of fans for various reasons. All the trouble behind the scenes since the Disney takeover in 2012 hasn’t helped.
Most recently, Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss exited their own Star Wars project, a new trilogy of films that would have reportedly explored the origin of the Jedi. And Belloni asserts that one other project has been quietly “shelved” due to creative differences, too.
“It also happened to Rian Johnson,” reveals Belloni, “whose own planned trilogy was shelved.”
The trilogy that was announced in 2017 ahead of the release of The Last Jedi has been the subject of heavy speculation over the past few years, but Lucasfilm has said very little about the project since the original announcement. Despite whispers about these movies being shelved, Johnson has reassured fans several times that his trilogy is still in development.
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