Lucasfilm Shelving More Star Wars Projects Over Creative Differences?

How will Lucasfilm move forward with Star Wars if they can't get along with directors? New reports suggest big creative problems behind the scenes.

By Apeksha Bagchi | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

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It is becoming apparent that not all is right in the galaxy far, far away. It was recently announced that Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, the standalone Star Wars film that was announced at the Disney Investors Day Event last year, has been delayed indefinitely. Though The Hollywood Reporter shared that the delay was a result of Patty Jenkins’ busy schedule, a new report has revealed that the film has been shelved due to creative differences between the director and Lucasfilm executives. And most importantly, this isn’t the first film in the Star Wars franchise that has met this fate. 

THR reported that Patty Jenkins currently has a packed schedule, which includes helming Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 3 starring Gal Gadot. As the film is slated to land in theaters in December 2023 and will probably begin production next year, Jenkins won’t have much time to direct the Star Wars film and ensure that it sticks to its previously announced release in 2023. But the outlet also raised hope that after Jenkins wraps up all the loose ends on her plate at the moment, she will return to the Lucasfilm project and make the epic journey she had promised. 

But now, in a new report, former THR editor Matthew Belloni (via Puck News) has revealed that Patty Jenkins’ busy schedule ain’t the culprit behind the delay the Star Wars film has faced. He shared that like many other projects under the Star Wars franchise that were announced but never saw the light of day, Rogue Squadron has been delayed due to creative differences which could not be sorted. Apparently, a script for the film was ready but Jenkins and Lucasfilm executives, including senior V.P. Michelle Rejwan, couldn’t reach a consensus on how to adapt it for the big screen. 

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“I talked to a few insiders this week that said the real culprit was the dreaded ‘creative differences’; specifically, Jenkins couldn’t agree on the script with Lucasfilm executives, including senior V.P. Michelle Rejwan,” Belloni wrote. “Jenkins wasn’t willing to dick around, and she has other projects, notably Wonder Woman 3 at Warner Bros., where she enjoys more creative freedom.”

In his report, Belloni further adds that filmmakers experiencing creative differences and lack of freedom at Lucasfilm is a “laughably recurring problem.” Reportedly, many Hollywood agents have revealed that while renowned filmmakers are eager to be a part of the Star Wars franchise and are quick to get on board for an elite project, the “micromanagement and plot-point-by-committee” tactics end up killing their enthusiasm. 

In his article, Belloni also cites that this is what many other top filmmakers have faced in the short duration they were associated with Lucasfilm before the over-interference pushed them away for good. For instance, this is exactly why Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss also “bailed” on the Star Wars trilogy, which would have possibly depicted the origin of the Jedi. The studio has also parted ways with other noted filmmakers in the past and faced some rather disastrous results, like the box-office bomb Solo: A Star Wars Story wherein Lucasfilm brought in Ron Howard after Phil Lord and Chris Miller were both fired as directors over “creative differences.”

The article also throws shade at Rian Johnson’s long-gestating Star Wars trilogy, which was announced back in 2017. Though Johnson has, time and again, shot down the speculations and assured that he is still working on the trilogy, Belloni states that the project has been “shelved” by Lucasfilm for good. Seeing the studio’s trajectory of parting ways with directors who were originally “dying” to helm a Star Wars film or shelving said projects, the future of Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron is uncertain at best.