It looks like Star Wars Rogue Squadron being delayed was possibly part of a much bigger problem with the film and the future is in doubt. This delay could last a lot longer than originally thought.
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Star Wars: Rogue Squadron suffered the case of the Spideys, a recent tell-all implies. Ex-The Hollywood Reporter editor Matthew Belloni published an insider take this morning on the inner workings of Lucasfilm’s latest project nosedive and word goes, scheduling conflicts have nothing to do with the reason Rogue Squadron went under. It may have been the running story executives would rather cower behind, but it’s nowhere close to the truth, or so Belloni’s sources claim.
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron director Patty Jenkins allegedly came to blows with Lucasfilm on the direction of the film, citing the dreaded “creative differences” as the reason behind the delay. Jenkins was reportedly micromanaged by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy’s camp (including senior vice president Michelle Rejwan, who showed the most resistance) till she caved, resulting in Jenkins pulling back and re-prioritizing Wonder Woman 3 where she has decidedly more creative freedom. Lucasfilm and Disney have since responded to Jenkins’s move back to DC with bizarre optimism, reluctantly allowing the Wonder Woman 1984 director to finish other pending projects ahead of Rogue Squadron while executives stew things out. This doesn’t feel too different from Marvel and Sony’s years-long spat on where Tom Holland’s Spider-Man depiction should go.
According to Belloni’s sources, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron isn’t the first time Lucasfilm has had to nix production midway owing to creative disagreements. Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss were previously on track to develop a Star Wars trilogy of their own when the project fell through. Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow had an entirely different vision for The Rise of Skywalker when J. J. Abrams was hired to replace him last-minute, resulting in a version of the film considered divisive among hardened Star Wars fans. Even Rian Johnson, the maestro behind The Last Jedi, was denied his own trilogy due to creative differences.
Most analysts, Belloni included, trace every single fallout to one defining figure in post-George Lucas Star Wars: Kathleen Kennedy. Work on any Star Wars and Indiana Jones movie under her careful eye are reportedly subjected to “micromanagement and plot-point-by-committee process,” of which Star Wars: Rogue Squadron director Patty Jenkins didn’t approve. She was supposedly unwilling to “dick around” in pursuit of a Wars experience worth making and stepped back before further resentment could cloud her judgment. So far a sound move, considering Lucasfilm is now willing to play ball whenever Jenkins feels like coming back.
Kathleen Kennedy can respond to production issues plaguing Star Wars: Rogue Squadron two ways: wait for Patty Jenkins to come around, or accept ahead of time she may not and hire somebody else. There is a third option — scrap the movie entirely and move on to greener pastures. Obviously, in the business of Hollywood, the latter could never be acceptable; if there’s any chance for profit, even remotely, studios will want to take it. Hence projects are never canceled, only postponed. Development hell exists precisely because studios would rather delay a film than toss it back in the pile.
Jenkins is a creative mind of her word, so it’s unlikely for her to bend to corporate meanderings if she can help it. In time, Kennedy would have to either acquiesce to Jenkins’s vision or find a new director — or in the event of her departure, trust another to take over. The outgoing Lucasfilm president is expected to step down from her post next year, with Jon Favreau among the favorites to replace her. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron is currently on hold as Lucasfilm execs and Patty Jenkins try to clear the air. The Victorville native is presently working on Wonder Woman 3 and a Cleopatra biopic with star Gal Gadot.