And Another One Bites the Dust…

Josh Trank…

James Mangold…

Colin Trevorrow…

Patty Jenkins…

What do they all have in common?

They got Star Wars cancelled. They all had a film in development and they either got let go (Trank and Trevorrow), it never came to fruition (Mangold) or it got put into the “indefinitely postponed” camp (Jenkins).

But why does this keep on happening? In the case of Trank, the rumours of his behaviour on set of the critically destroyed ‘Fantastic Four’ basically led to him being shown the door. Trevorrow’s departure was more of a shocker, and the reason still isn’t quite clear, but some rumours that have floated around suggest he couldn’t quite figure out how to incorporate the loss of Carrie Fisher into his story.

Mangold never even had an official announcement, however, the rumours that he was working on a ‘Boba Fett’ film came out in the run-up to the release of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ and the sources seemed pretty reliable, but the Box-Office failure of ‘Solo’ led to a number of unannounced projects being shut down.

And now, this article from the Hollywood Reporter has announced that the Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman 1 & 2) helmed ‘Rogue Squadron’ that was announced last December at the big Disney Showcase has been removed from the Production Schedule due to Jenkins’ other commitments. The recently announced ‘Wonder Woman 3’ may have something to do with that, or the ‘Cleopatra’ film that would star Gal Gadot in the title role (most likely WW3).

What I want to know is, given the pretty nightmarish track record of feature film announcements that has plagued Star Wars and Lucasfilm, when will they learn to keep their mouths shut until something is an actual sure thing? Surely it’s be cheaper for them in the long run, how much got spent on that two minute video of Patty Jenkins talking about ‘Rogue Squadron’ for that showcase last year? Could have saved a pretty penny there.

Also, all of these cancellations/postponements just look bad for the reputation of Lucasfilm. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Disney higher-ups stepped in to do some sort of damage control at some point. So far, out of their five Star Wars films that got released, only one managed to get through the whole process of announcement to release with no problems, and that was ‘The Last Jedi’, which the vocal minorities can’t seem to go a day without spewing hate for on the internet. The rest suffered from delays due to injury, extensive reshoots with a new director, directors getting fired two-thirds of the way through production and then a drastic change of director. And this curse has moved over to the in-production ‘Indiana Jones 5’ with injuries and now a death of a crew member.

Before I go on, this isn’t me bashing Lucasfilm, I’m not calling for the head of Kathy Kennedy (I think she’s doing a great job but keeps getting dealt lousy cards), but you have to wonder what is actually going on over there at Lucasfilm that they keep running into problems?

What pulled Patty Jenkins away from the already announced and in-development ‘Rogue Squadron’? The third Wonder Woman film couldn’t wait a year? Is the well so tempting she just had to run back to it? Or did DC just pony up an even bigger boatload of cash to pull her from the commitment she made to Lucasfilm, for what is probably a pretty hefty boatload of cash.

Of course there are rumours of an unannounced Star Wars film that is already in development that must also be pretty far along in development that can take the now abandoned ‘Rogue Squadron’ release date of 22nd December 2023 so perhaps we won’t be waiting for what could be the soon-to-be-cancelled Taika Waititi film or the could be removed-from-development Kevin Feige in 2025 or 2027.

At this point, should Lucasfilm just put the films on hold indefinitely and focus on the Disney+ content. With two incredibly successful seasons of ‘The Mandalorian’ and the hotly anticipated ‘The Book of Boba Fett’, ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ and ‘Andor’ on the way in the next year and the rest of the series’ that were announced last year, surely they have enough to keep even he most negative of fans happy for a few years?

And don’t even get me started on the Benioff and Weiss debacle or the Rian Johnson trilogy that no one has spoke about for years…

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