This week brought yet more upheaval for Star Wars, with Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss becoming the latest in a long line of filmmakers to depart the franchise. Whether the duo left amicably or were fired by Lucasfilm has yet to be officially confirmed, but this both leaves their proposed trilogy in a state of flux and raises more questions about how the brand is being handled.
As President of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy wields a huge amount of power over Star Wars, and given the number of writers and directors the franchise has cycled through over the last several years, it certainly looks like from a creative standpoint, it’s either her way or the highway. Kennedy claims that she loves hearing criticism of the recent movies, but the huge level of filmmaker turnover and frequent fan backlash surrounding Star Wars surely can’t be going unnoticed at Disney.
It was recently announced that Kevin Feige, who was recently promoted to Marvel’s head of creative development, was developing a Star Wars movie of his own. Given his position as the architect of the most successful franchise in history and one of the most powerful figures in the industry, speculation started that Feige could possibly take on a larger role on Star Wars given his track record in building a crowd-pleasing and harmonious shared universe.
However, a recent report by Variety claims that Feige’s involvement in Star Wars will be limited to his own project, and that Kathleen Kennedy’s position as studio head is safe for now.
“Sources at the studio insist that Kennedy’s job is secure despite the churn of filmmaking talent. Star Wars fans did receive some welcome news when it was revealed that Kevin Feige, the executive credited with guiding the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will work on a standalone Star Wars film. That led to speculation that Feige might be brought in to stabilize Lucasfilm, but insiders say that there are no plans to give him a larger role in that division.”
Even despite Feige’s self-admitted status as a huge Star Wars fan, he already has plenty on his plate handling all of Marvel’s creative output, and the studio would be unwilling to stretch his time even thinner. While plenty of fans are unhappy with Kathleen Kennedy’s stranglehold on a galaxy far, far away, it looks like the brand will continue under her stewardship for a while yet.