Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first Star Wars spinoff film from Lucasfilm, began as an idea from ILM's John Knoll. Though he initially wasn't sure how serious he was, Knoll received encouragement from friends to pitch the concept to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and the rest is history. Rogue One was one of the most successful movies of 2016, earning positive reviews from fans and critics while grossing over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Despite all the concern about the reshoots that took place last summer, the final product was quite strong and proved Star Wars could live beyond the Skywalker saga.
After hitting a home run with Rogue One, it'd be understandable if Knoll decided to just focus on visual effects and leave pitching to the several others who have ideas for the next great Star Wars film. However, Knoll isn't one to rest on his laurels, and perhaps buoyed by the response to Rogue One, has another standalone he's currently working on.
Screen Rant visited ILM for a Rogue One press event and spoke with Knoll. When asked if he has any other stories in mind, Knoll revealed he's making progress on his second spinoff:
"I do have one more idea that I may or may not pitch. I’ve got it about 3/4 figured out and if I can solve that last portion of it, I’ll see if Kathy’s interested. She may throw me out of her office."
Given the secretive nature of Lucasfilm, Knoll obviously could not reveal any specifics about what the main narrative might entail, but with the broad scope of the Star Wars universe in mind, the possibilities are virtually limitless. Based on his comments, this isn't something he's ready to pitch right now, and it will be interesting to see if he can crack that last quarter and present it to Kennedy. Should Knoll formulate a full outline, Kennedy would most likely be curious to hear what he has in mind, since Rogue One was a hit. Knoll certainly has some storytelling talent. He offered that he thought it was a "cool" idea, so there's probably something there.
Though Disney plans to release new Star Wars movies annually for the foreseeable future, the studio's officially confirmed slate is somewhat small when compared to other high-profile properties like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Outside of The Last Jedi and Episode IX, the only other project said to be in development is the young Han Solo film. No other standalones have been announced, though that could change by the time Star Wars Celebration and D23 roll around this year. With the future of the anthology movies up in the air, Knoll's next pitch could theoretically come through the pipeline sooner rather than later, depending on how things shake out.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more coverage from our visit to ILM!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits Blu-ray April 4, 2017.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018