Proving that you can really have too much of a good thing, Disney CEO Bob Iger has formally announced plans to initiate a “slowdown” of new Star Wars movies in 2019 and beyond.
Ever since the Mouse House shelled out just over $4 billion for Lucasfilm and its precious assets, its one-Star-Wars-movie-per-year policy has resulted in The Force Awakens, Rogue One, The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story releasing in quick succession.
It was really the latter two that sparked concern of franchise fatigue, given their close proximity on the Disney calendar. And sure enough, after Solo undershot box office expectations quite dramatically – less than $400 million worldwide is a little disappointing for a Star Wars movie carrying the franchise’s most popular character – the Mouse House is about to pump the brakes, leading the company’s head honcho, Bob Iger, to accept responsibility for the decision to release Solo so soon after The Last Jedi.
Unsurprisingly, it’s one he considers a mistake. And a pretty costly one at that.
I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made — I take the blame — was a little too much, too fast. you can expect some slowdown, but that doesn’t mean we’re not gonna make films. J.J. [Abrams] is busy making [Episode] IX. We have creative entities, including [Game of Thrones creators David] Benioff and [D.B.] Weiss, who are developing sagas of their own, which we haven’t been specific about. And we are just at the point where we’re gonna start making decisions about what comes next after J.J.’s. But I think we’re gonna be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that.
Star Wars: Episode IX is the next to tumble off the production line, so it’ll be fascinating to see how the J.J. Abrams trilogy-capper fares after such a long intermission between Episode IX and Solo. Truth be told, the Star Wars franchise was in need of a breather, so perhaps this new approach from Iger and Co. is just what the doctor ordered. Time will tell.