As if there was ever any doubt, Disney Chairman Bob Iger has confirmed the modern Star Wars saga will continue beyond Colin Trevorrow’s Episode IX in 2019, while the Marvel Cinematic Universe seemingly has the depth to outlive us all.
In terms of the rejuvenated galaxy far, far away, news that the House of Mouse plans to continue expanding the Star Wars universe long into the future should come as no surprise; after all, between the initial $4 billion investment and the early boon from last year’s The Force Awakens – to the tune of $1.8 billion at the time of writing – Disney is only getting started.
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When quizzed about the franchise’s staying power by the BBC, Iger noted that there are currently four Star Wars films incubating in varying stages of development. They are, in order of release date, Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII, Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s nascent Han Solo offshoot and, finally, Trevorrow’s aforementioned Episode IX. But what of the movies we don’t know, particularly the third Anthology film that was said to revolve around infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett?
“There are five Star Wars films – four more with Episode VII: The Force Awakens – that are in varying stages of development and production. There will be more after that, I don’t know how many, I don’t know how often.”
Putting aside confirmation that – shock, horror! – more Star Wars films are being pitched around for post-2019, the fact that Iger conceded he isn’t sure whether Disney will continue to alternate the releases is significant in and of itself. Up until now, the current blueprint has mapped out Episodes VII, VIII and IX two years apart, with an Anthology film in the vein of Rogue One ensuring that there is a new chapter added to the universe with each passing year. Will Disney ease the foot off the pedal to shield its billion dollar baby from franchise fatigue?
Outside of the studio’s space-faring franchise, one universe that adheres to a much more active slate is Marvel, which is set to pump out up to three films per year all the way up to 2020 – even if the trio currently occupying release dates in 2020 are without official titles. So, what kind of mileage can be expect from the MCU once the all-consuming battle against Thanos has had its due? “Marvel, you’re dealing with thousands and thousands of characters – that will go on forever,” Iger concluded.
There you have it, then; official confirmation that both the Star Wars universe and the MCU will likely outlive us all.