Last week, Variety reported that there was a new “female-centric” Star Wars show coming to Disney+. Details of precisely what this will consist of remain extremely hazy, even down to what kind of character will be at the core of it. Just about the one confirmed bit of information though was that the creative force behind Russian Doll, Leslye Headland, was spearheading it.
So far, so typical. Regardless of your opinions of the project’s merits, a Star Wars TV show with a female lead (or whatever else ‘female-centric’ means) sounds like exactly the kind of thing Disney and Lucasfilm would greenlight. But now we’re hearing that Disney execs, including Bob Iger and incoming CEO Bob Chapek are “livid” about the project.
The story comes courtesy of WDW Pro on the WDW Magic Forums, who claims to have a history of accurate leaks. Here’s what he has to say:
“I’ve got a friend in the know who says this morning (Pacific Time), both Bob Iger and Bob Chapek are unhappy with Lucasfilm and there is faster than normal movement going to get high level meetings going. What the heck is going on? I’m on the road, so I can’t dig on this, but what could possibly be going on with Lucasfilm that would create a scurry when everybody is basically working from home if at all? The term used was “livid” but I just can’t imagine what they could possibly have done.”
What indeed? Well, get this. Leslye Headland was convicted serial rapist Harvey Weinstein’s personal assistant. Awkward.
WDW Pro filled in the blanks in a later post, saying:
“Apparently the goobers at Lucasfilm hired Harvey Weinstein’s personal assistant who comes with significant PR baggage, potentially legal baggage and did so without consulting Disney, or their legal department.”
When a 2012 EW interview with her begins, “Leslye Headland loves Harvey Weinstein,” you gotta admit that she’s not got a fantastic PR look. Her employment history certainly didn’t go unnoticed on social media, either, with the news being greeted by a collective dropping of jaws that Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy would hire someone so wound up in one of the biggest rape scandals of the modern era.
Perhaps the cherry on top of the whole debacle is the rumor that Headland herself is connected to the Variety leak. People have noted that Disney tends to reveal projects with a little more oomph and detail than what we got with this new show. So it’s theorized that the leak could be a way of strong-arming Disney into not cancelling Headland’s project for fear of damaging their woke credentials. If that is true, then no wonder Iger and Chapek are furious they’ve been dragged into this mess.
If the failure of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and the abrupt postponement/cancellation of Obi-Wan couldn’t dislodge Kathleen Kennedy, then maybe this colossal misstep will.