The latest Star Wars rumors indicate the Obi-Wan spinoff movie had already lost attached director Stephen Daldry well before Solo: A Star Wars Story underwhelmed at the box office. For several years, an anthology film revolving around the Jedi Master was rumored, with Ewan McGregor expressing multiple times he would be game to return. Though the project was never officially announced by Lucasfilm, it seemed to gain traction last year when Daldry was reportedly became Obi-Wan's director.
More recently, however, Obi-Wan is less likely to happen. Lucasfilm is placing future movies in the Star Wars Story line on hold until further notice, which presumably also includes James Mangold's alleged Boba Fett spinoff. While the timing of the announcement made it seem like this was a response to Solo bombing, it appears as if the studio was having second doubts about Obi-Wan prior to Solo premiering.
Omega Underground revealed they heard from a "well-established outlet" on May 11 (two full weeks before Solo opened in theaters) that Daldry had left the Obi-Wan film. This makes it seem like Solo's commercial performance (which no doubt will cause Lucasfilm to reevaluate some things) didn't have a significant influence on other planned anthologies.
Should this prove to be the case, it means Lucasfilm was unhappy with the way Obi-Wan was shaping up, regardless of whether or not Solo was a hit. The decision to place future spinoffs on the back burner becomes less a knee-jerk reaction to one flop, and more of an artistically-inclined decision - which is an encouraging development. There's no denying plenty of Star Wars fans wanted to see Kenobi back on the big screen, but there was always a question of what the narrative would be. Lucasfilm's problem when developing spinoffs seems to be choosing the wrong concepts, and it's nice to see they pulled the plug on something instead of forging ahead out of stubbornness. Works like Rian Johnson's new trilogy and David Benioff & D.B. Weiss' series, which are entirely separate from the Skywalker saga, probably have stronger hooks as films.
As we've pointed out before, Solo's box office numbers look as bad as they do mainly because of the film's enormous production budget, which is the largest in Lucasfilm history. That one in particular was always going to have an uphill climb to profitability, especially since it was forced to release in the competitive month of May (rather than sliding to December, as Lucasfilm wanted). It would have been odd if Lucasfilm canceled a film in response to Solo; after all, no franchise (be it Marvel or Pixar) is immune to disappointment. For their part, they remain confident in what they're doing, and should have some exciting things planned for the future.
Source: Omega Underground
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019