A pair of high profile directors have reportedly put their respective “Star Wars” projects on hold indefinitely after clashing with the studio….
The dreaded words “creative differences” seem to get trotted out any time a high profile writer or director splits with a studio during a project and that appears the be the same reason why both Oscar winner Patty Jenkins and Rian Johnson won’t be making “Star Wars” movies any time soon — if ever again.
News recently broke that Jenkins’ planned “Star Wars” film titled “Rogue Squadron” — that was once teased as ‘the greatest fighter pilot movie ever made’ — would be pushed back indefinitely as the director got tied up with other projects that demanded her time. While Jenkins is definitely a highly sought after director with early plans underway for her upcoming “Wonder Woman 3” film from Warner Bros., she seemed incredibly excited to serve as the first ever woman to direct a “Star Wars’ franchise film.
Now Jenkins’ plans have been sidelined and a new report from former Hollywood Reporter editor Matthew Belloni suggests that she clashed with studio executives at Lucasfilm over the story for her film, which ultimately led in her exiting the project.
“Top filmmakers are dying to make a Star Wars movie—until they sign on and experience the micromanagement and plot-point-by-committee process.”
The same thing apparently happened to Johnson after he was announced as the writer and director behind a new trilogy of “Star Wars” films after he previously helmed “The Last Jedi.”
Johnson was expected to create three new films set in a different part of the “Star Wars” universe, away from the epic Skywalker saga, but the buzz around that trilogy faded away rather quickly as he moved onto new projects. Johnson is currently prepping for the upcoming sequel to his smash hit film “Knives Out” after he inked a massive deal with Amazon for a pair of movies set in that same universe.
By all accounts, Johnson’s planned “Star Wars” spinoffs have been shelved indefinitely much like Jenkins and it certainly doesn’t seem like either director is rushing back to finish what they started.
Sadly, this is a recurring theme with “Star Wars” after Lucasfilm has gone through several notable splits with writers and directors over the past few years.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller famously exited the “Solo” spinoff film after having “creative differences” with the studio and they were eventually replaced by Ron Howard. Former “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss had signed on to develop a trio of “Star Wars” movies before they also split to focus on other endeavors including their overall deal for TV development at Netflix.
Of course, Colin Trevorrow (“Jurassic World”) was originally slated to write and direct the third film in the newest “Star Wars” trilogy — a movie that was ultimately called “The Rise of Skywalker” with J.J. Abrams behind the camera — but he also left the project over “creative differences.”
While there are numerous executives at Lucasfilm and Disney making these decisions, many believe the problems start with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, who oversees everything related to “Star Wars” in both film and television.
Kennedy has been praised for her development for series such as “The Mandalorian,” which came together under the watchful eyes of Jon Favreau and “Star Wars” guru Dave Feloni but she’s also received a mountain of criticism for the newest “Star Wars” trilogy as well as spinoff films such as “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”
Regardless of the split with directors such as Jenkins and Johnson over these particular projects, Kennedy’s job with Lucasfilm still seems completely secure after she just recently renewed her contract through 2024.