After 'Rise of Skywalker,'; Kathleen Kennedy's plan for 'Star Wars';

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Rob Bredow, one of the visual effects division of Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic, came to President Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, in early 2018 with a heavy idea on Jon Favreau's television series “The Mandalorian.” Filming.

The filmmakers wanted to use what they were calling for “the future phase”: a set wrapped in LED screens to create virtual backgrounds for the show.

The company used the technique previously to create the Millennium Carlow Run in “Alone: ​​Star Wars Story,” but Bredow never praised.

Kennedy, however, recalled on his days working on Steven Spielberg's “Jurassic Park Park”, which was green-green before being sure that the visual effects of Tyrannosaurus rex could be created.

“She said,‘ There were a few times in my life when these types of moments were there. Take it, '' Bredow recalled in the cafeteria of Lucasfilm's San Francisco headquarters. “She is looking for these opportunities to break new ground.” T

According to all accounts, the Gamble's “The Mandalorian” has paid for Lucasfilm from his reply that he responded enthusiastically to Disney + streaming service in November. Viewers are watching online about the introduction of the so-called Baby Yoda show, an infant from the same species as the Jedi green master.

The series comes on the eve of “Star Wars: Rise Skywalker,” the ninth film and final film in the space opera series called “Skywalker saga.” Led by J.J. Abrams, the film, is expected to start with a huge box office in its open weekend – about $ 200 million in the US and Canada. In addition, the publisher of the Electronic Arts video games also contributed to strong sales for “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order,” published in November.

After “Rise Skywalker,” Kennedy, 66, is facing the most difficult challenge since George Lucas began to create it over seven years ago: this is the next thing that has the franchise right. prefers pop culture there.

Fans are choosing the creative options of the “Star Wars” series which was unauthorized in 1977 (Jar Binks Jar, anyone?), And scrutiny has only strengthened since Disney Lucasfilm bought for $ 4 billion shortly after for Kennedy to enter. Star Wars is a large column in Disney's streaming pressure with Disney +, which is Walt Disney Co.. The Chief Executive of Bob Iger.

“Of course, this is the amount of time we spent talking about, and 'Star Wars' is an important move”, Kennedy said in an interview. “We have focused on the last five to six years finishing that family saga around Skywalkers. Now is the time to start thinking about a new and different thing. ”

Kennedy's tenure was not affected. While the first four “Star Wars” films in the Disney era brought together almost $ 5 billion at the global box office, 2018 “Solo” was commercially disappointed, after production where the studio replaced directors with during shooting. Iger openly blamed the performance of too many “Star Wars” releases too quickly.

It's a really important move for “Star Wars”… Now is the time to start thinking about how to deal with something new and different. ”

Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm

The film company announced to filmmakers attached to it, but later on. Abrams' director replaced “Treo na Skywalker”, director of “World Jurassic”, Colin, after Trevorrow struggled to develop a script that satisfied the studio. Recently, the shows included “Game of Thrones” David Benioff and D.B. Weiss drove a planned "Star Wars" trilogy after dealing with Netflix.

Kennedy looks at any negative conclusions drawn from the director.

“No one in our business develops something with one person, that is, and everything goes perfectly,” she said. “This is a very common part of the process. We are subject to an incredible scrutiny such as Wars Star Wars. ’Because of the quality I want, I am achieving the best talent, and vice versa. ”

Kathleen Kennedy

From left, executive producer Callum Greene, producer Michelle Rejwan, President Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy and director J.J. Abrams on the series “Rise Skywalker.”

(Jonathan Olley / Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Despite some difficulties, the profitable franchise is great for Disney based in Bhurbank.

“Three, four, and less successful films are very successful films,” said Doug Creutz, a media and entertainment analyst at Cowen & Co.. “Successfully very good with the Mandalorian & # 39; main program for Disney +, and 'Star Wars'; integrated in the theme parks. That said, it wasn't as smooth as Marvel. ”

During the production of “The Rise of Skywalker,” Kennedy asked Iger if he was comfortable “pausing” on “Star Wars” films. Iger agreed to pump the brakes to give Lucasfilm more time to develop new films. The company has been delivering at least a “Star Wars” film a year since 2015, but there has been at least three years between Lucas himself and films.

“We are doing this literally from full cloth and bringing in filmmakers to find these stories,” Kennedy said. “It may take some time before you get what direction you want to go. We want to do that. ”

The next film “Star Wars” is expected to arrive in 2022, which is all about it. President Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, has an idea for a Star Wars film, but Kennedy is in the early stages. Rian Johnson, who wrote and directed “The Last Jedi,” is also developing more “Star Wars” films.

Kennedy stated that she intends to make key decisions on the franchise direction over the coming weeks. But some things she already knows. Although the saga “Skywalker” ends, the company has not abandoned the characters created in the latest trilogy. In addition, she said, the plan is to move beyond trilogues, which can restrict them.

“I think it gives us a more open view of storytelling and we don't put it into this three-act structure,” she said. “We won't have a finite number and put it in a box. We're really going to let that story go. ”

‘E.T.: The Additional Organizations

Before Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy produced films including Steven Spielberg “E.T.: The Extra-Trastrial.”

(Universal Pictures)

It is a logical move for Kennedy to achieve most creatively, which has been a name for producing such drugs as “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” and “Jurassic Park.” T

Raised in Redding, Calif., She studied film and telecommunications at San Diego State University. Having seen Spielberg's “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” in 1977, she decided to take up a career in films. She gave her first job as a production assistant to John Milius, and met Spielberg when they were doing “1941,” directed by Spielberg. She began working with Spielberg in preparation for filming “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, where she also met Lucas.

With Spielberg and her husband Rob Marshall in the future, she founded Amblin Entertainment in 1981, where she produced films as “The Color Purple.” Ten years later, she and Marshall set up their own business, Kennedy / Marshall. Co. Kildare

Her career went well in 2012, when her friend Lucas named her fellow chairman Lucasfilm, making her guardian of his heritage.

The post had early challenges. Lucas spoke to Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford about continuing the Star Wars saga. However, the firm, which focused mainly on licensing and animation, wanted to build a production and development team.

Then, just four months after Kennedy got the job, Lucas sold to Disney. While Kennedy was able to manage this transition unexpectedly, the new ownership was also an opportunity. “The level of support (from Disney) was unusual,” she said. “It only takes some time to get to know people, and who's doing it. But now it is quite streamlined, and everyone works really together very well. ”

Kennedy brought a stable of Lucasfilm's current talent to build, including Dave Filoni, who was trained under Lucas on projects including the TV series “Clone Wars” and the 2008 film. interested in learning how to lead a live action. Kennedy, he said, therefore set up a program under the directorship of directors including Abrams and Johnson.

“I think there is a lot to say about how it looks at a long game and that it works patiently to achieve goals and achieve success not only for the projects, but also for people,” said Filoni, an executive producer and director of “The Mandalorian. ”

The pressure to deliver the first movie "Star Wars" about Disney was delivered to very large fans. Lucas, who was suffering at the poor reception given by his prequels, was “disappointed with Star Wars” when Kennedy showed him “The Awaken Awaken”. He complained that there was “nothing new” in the film, according to Iger's recent book “The Ride of a Lifetime.” However, the film was a critical and commercial success, complementing over $ 2 billion. .

There were debates on the franchise. “The Last Jedi,” for example, was criticized in some circles for too long to set aside Star Wars trials.

Kennedy says the company will give feedback from “Star Wars” fans. For example, Lucasfilm decided to revive the TV series “The Clone Wars” for Disney + after a long audience campaign.

“No matter what they say and what they care for,” Kennedy said. “All of these things have a role to play in our decision-making.”

As well as films, Lucasfilm has a lot of “Star Wars” material, especially for Disney +. The studio is working on the shows with Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Diego Luna as a sparkler character from “Rogue One.” T

In addition, the company is testing with new formats. ILMxLab released Lucasfilm, a virtual reality unit and an increased reality established in 2015, a VR series called “Vader Immortal” this year which offers face-to-face users with Darth Vader and who trains headset users to lights wear lights.

“When you have something very valuable as Wars Star Wars,’ you have big expectations internally and worldwide fans, and we were at risk, ”said Vicki Dobbs, who runs the VR group. “(We think) if there is a new way of telling stories, that is what Lucasfilm is about, and we should be in pioneering.” T

The possibilities of “Star Wars” extend. ”“ Solo ”writer Jonathan Kasdan has completed a pilot script for a series based on the cultural culture of Willow.

Kennedy is pushing new material.

While Lucasfilm was shooting “Rise Skywalker,” Michelle Rejwan went to London's bookshop and Tomi Adeyemi took up the fantasy novel “Children of Blood and Bone”. She praised Kennedy, who was fascinated by the story and thought the themes were like “Star Wars.” She discovered the rights to the book owned by Fox, which was currently owned by Disney. She was introduced to Fox Watts, Fox's film executive, and asked if Lucasfilm could develop a film based on the property.

But what does Lucasfilm's new franchise do if it has no connection with “Star Wars?” Kennedy's next question will address her as she considers the company's future. She compares the process and when she sat down with Spielberg and Marshall to determine Dublin's creative identity.

“I am very impressed with the possibility of being able to do things that extend our portfolio slightly,” she said. “You realize that there is the potential for great things to do, and it is extremely exciting to think beyond Star Wars Wars'. ”

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