When Jon Favreau stepped onto the red carpet for “The Mandalorian” Season 3 premiere on Feb. 28, the Disney+ show creator and executive producer was feeling nostalgic.
“It’s been a while since we’ve all been together here like this,” Favreau said. Variety, evoking the November 2019 premiere for the launch of the show – and Disney+ itself. “That was before the first episode aired!”
At that time, “The Mandalorian” was a rambling landspeeder in the vast “Star Wars” galaxy, stomping on the heels of “The Rise of Skywalker,” director JJ Abrams’ climactic feature that was to annihilate a month later. the box office as a cinematic Death Star. Instead, “The Mandalorian” became a global sensation thanks to the incandescent cuteness of Baby Yoda, rocketing Disney+ into the speed of light with 26.5 million subscribers in its first six weeks.
“The Rise of Skywalker,” on the other hand, imploded spectacularly. The film earned only half of the revenue from 2015’s “The Force Awakens” and widespread scorn from fans, and development of the “Star Wars” movie has been stuck in the bogs of Dagobah ever since. While Disney+ has a solid fleet of live-action “Star Wars” series — three airing in 2022 alone — not a single “Star Wars” movie has been given the green light, let alone put into production. The first movie slated for theatrical release is December 2025, six years after “The Rise of Skywalker.”
It’s not for lack of trying. In December 2020, Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy announced that “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins would direct the next “Star Wars” movie, the one-off “Rogue Squadron” adventure. But in September 2022, Disney pulled the title from its scheduled December 2023 release, and sources with knowledge of the production say it’s no longer in active development at the studio. (A Lucasfilm representative did not respond to a request for comment. In December, Jenkins said in a statement that she was still developing “Rogue Squadron,” but “I don’t know if that will happen or not.”)
In the meantime, Variety has learned that a potential “Star Wars” feature film produced by Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige is also no longer in active development at Lucasfilm.
When news of Feige’s involvement in a “Star Wars” movie broke in September 2019, it sparked fan speculation, since largely debunked, that he was in line to replace Kennedy as the head of Lucasfilm. The movie came alive as recently as May 2022, when screenwriter Michael Waldron (“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”) said Variety that he had started working on a “Star Wars” screenplay for Feige. “I appreciate having the freedom to do something that’s not necessarily a sequel or anything,” Waldron said.
Five months later, Feige hired Waldron to pen the script for 2026’s “Avengers: Secret Wars,” the “Endgame”-style culmination of Marvel Studios’ multiverse saga. Between this project and the other 19 titles (and counting) Marvel has announced for theaters and streaming over the next four years, Feige’s responsibilities to the MCU keep him very, very far away from “Star Wars” for a long time. part of the decade.
As for Rian Johnson, the in-demand filmmaker has made no secret that he still wants to make the “Star Wars” films he first announced in 2017 before the release of his film “The Last Jedi,” and Kennedy has made it clear that Lucasfilm still wants him too. But Johnson’s immediate priorities — continuing his Benoit Blanc movies with Daniel Craig for Netflix and Season 2 of the hit Peacock series “Poker Face” starring Natasha Lyonne — will keep him busy for the foreseeable future.
So which “Star Wars” movie could fit into that open December 2025 release date? Sources say ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ filmmaker Taika Waititi continues to work on his eventual ‘Star Wars’ feature film, and would likely play a role in it as well, similar to his standout role as a star. Imaginary Adolf Hitler in his 2019 Oscar-winning feature ‘Jojo Rabbit’. And while Lucasfilm hasn’t officially confirmed it yet, sources say the studio is committed to a “Star Wars” movie from two-time Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (“Saving Face,” ” A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”), which made its live-action narrative debut with two episodes of “Ms. Wonder” for Disney+. Damon Lindelof (“Watchmen”) and Justin Britt-Gibson (“Counterpart”) were attached in October to write the script for this film.
Whether any of these films, or an as-yet-unannounced project, will land at the top of the line has been a closely guarded secret at Lucasfilm, but sources say the studio will begin to unveil its plans for the future of ‘Star Wars’. cinema at the Star Wars Celebration convention in London the weekend of April 7. This announcement, however, will compete with expected updates to at least four Disney+ series, including the final season of the critically acclaimed “Andor”; new shows from Leslye Headland (“The Acolyte”) and Jon Watts (“Skeleton Crew”); and the first big push for “Ahsoka,” a spinoff of “The Mandalorian” and “The Clone Wars” animated series starring Rosario Dawson slated to debut late summer.
So, for now, Lucasfilm’s message to “Star Wars” moviegoers: Patience, you must have.
Marc Malkin contributed to this story.