Kevin Feige Star Wars Movie Mess Just Got Even More Confusing

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Will we ever know what we really went down when Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness scribe Michael Waldron set out to make their very own Star Wars movie? That remains to be seen. What we do know for sure is that the movie isn’t happening. Or was never happening at all. It really depends on who you ask at Disney.

The latest update on this “shelved” project comes from Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy herself, who sat down with IGN to set the record straight during Star Wars Celebration 2023. Unfortunately, her comments on the project, which she says was never in development to begin with, actually make this long-winded behind-the-scenes saga even more confusing.

Kevin Feige’s project was something announced in the press, or I suppose fandom. But there was nothing. Nothing ever got developed. We never discussed an idea,” Kennedy told IGN. “As everybody knows, Kevin’s a huge Star Wars fan and if he did come up with something, I would be all ears. But that’s never really happened. So, it’s not an abandoned project, it just didn’t happen.”

This of course doesn’t really track with what THR reported back in 2019 when it broke the story that Feige would produce a Star Wars film. It also doesn’t really align with Disney’s then-chief creative office Alan Horn’s own comments on the project.

“We are excited about the projects Kathy and the Lucasfilm team are working on, not only in terms of Star Wars but also Indiana Jones and reaching into other parts of the company including Children of Blood and Bone with Emma Watts and Fox. With the close of the Skywalker Saga, Kathy is pursuing a new era in Star Wars storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a Star Wars film together,” Horn said to THR in that original report.

This certainly sounds like Disney confirming that something was in development at some point between September 2019 and March 2023, when Variety reported the project had been quietly “shelved” by Lucasfilm, along with Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron movie.

Two months after that initial THR story, Feige himself was a little less direct (his signature move) about his involvement when the trade asked him about the project, “I love that world and I love the notion of exploring new people and new places in that universe.” That’s definitely not a no.

And in May 2022, Waldron confirmed to Den of Geek that he was in the middle of working on the script for Feige: “It’s coming along, it’s nice to have some time to focus on it. And it’s fun to get to do something that feels fresh and original, and I’m excited to work with Kevin again, and with the team at Lucasfilm. And I love Star Wars. So it’s a blast.”

“I’m writing away,” Waldron also told Variety last May. “I’m enjoying having the freedom on that to do something that’s not necessarily a sequel or anything. It maybe has a little bit less of a — it just doesn’t have a bunch of TV shows and movies that you’re servicing on top of it, the way I did with Doctor Strange. So it’s nice. It feels like a different exercise.”

Reliable Hollywood reporter Matthew Belloni over at Puck has now also contradicted Kennedy’s claim in the days after Celebration: “Um, who is Kathy kidding?” Belloni wrote in his own report. “A lot of rolled eyes at Marvel this weekend because a) the Kevin Feige Star Wars project was (and still is) very much real, and b) Kennedy was only aware of it, she actually received periodic updates on its status, including when Marvel go-to Michael Waldron was hired to write it.”

According to Belloni’s sources, “Kathy was never enthusiastic about the Feige project.” He goes on to speculate that it comes down to how it would look if Feige succeeded in his Star Wars ventures during a time of great turbulence on the film side for Kennedy: “Even after some recent Marvel stumbles, Feige is by far the most powerful creative executive at Disney. His success in Kennedy’s sandbox would be hugely embarrassing for her, especially given all the problems on the Star Wars films.” That’s all conjecture, though.

While it’s true that Lucasfilm has struggled to get film projects off the ground since 2019’s critically-panned The Rise of Skywalker — besides Rogue Squadron, there’s the canceled David Benioff/D.B. Weiss movie, the Rian Johnson’s film trilogy he’s now too busy to shoot, and the delayed Taika Waititi movie, among others never officially announced — the studio did confirm a slate of upcoming movies at this year’s Celebration. There’s the Dave Filoni New Republic movie that will tie up many of the storylines currently taking place in the Mandoverse, a James Mangold Jedi origin story set 25,000 years before the Skywalker Saga, and a new Rey movie set 15 years after The Rise of Skywalker that will see her finally reunite the Jedi Order.

There even appears to be a clear focus and throughline for these newly announced movies, even if each is set in a very different era. To hear Kennedy explain it, it sounds like each film will track the history of the Jedi in their respective eras of the Star Wars timeline.

“We’ve been talking a lot about going well into the past, and one of the things that’s really knitting this all together, obviously, are the Jedi,” Kennedy explained to EW regarding Mangold’s installment. “What happened with the Jedi over time? How did the Jedi evolve? They were wiped out with Order 66. Then they gradually have been coming back.” Meanwhile, “the question we’re going to ask with the New Jedi Order and Rey is, does the galaxy need them anymore? Do they want them back? So there’s a lot of food for thought in what we’re doing, whether it’s in the past, present, or future.”

The Filoni movie will presumably feature Ahsoka Tano, and perhaps even the return of Luke Skywalker (we’re speculating now!), as central parts of the fight against a resurgent Imperial Remnant, with Thrawn now set up as the big bad of the Mandoverse. We’ve also already seen at least two other Force wielders pop up in the Ahsoka trailer, with the promise of Jedi Knight Ezra Bridger’s comeback also in the books. There are a lot of Jedi-adjacent characters running around in the New Republic period.

In other words, things appear to finally be going in the right direction on the big screen for Lucasfilm, but time will tell how plans solidify or change. For now, they don’t involve Feige.

The post Kevin Feige Star Wars Movie Mess Just Got Even More Confusing appeared first on Den of Geek.

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