Disney and Lucasfilm’s plan to release a new Star Wars movie ever single year for the rest of our collective lives came even closer to fruition today, with the revelation that the next Star Wars spin-off film will star none other than Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi who trained Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, with, shall we say, “mixed” success.
Lucasfilm is in talks with Stephen Daldry – the Oscar-nominated director of Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – to direct their Obi-Wan Kenobi movie. Hollywood Reporter reports that there is no script in place, and Daldry would be in a position to develop the movie along with the studio.
The film represents a significant about-face for Daldry, whose celebrated filmmaking career thus fas has been spent directing serious dramas about emotional strife. He also executive produces and directs multiple episodes of the acclaimed Netflix series The Crown, and is slated to direct an adaptation of the blockbuster Broadway musical Wicked for release in 2019, and his career in the theatre is varied and extensive as well.
The arrangement may be mutually beneficial for both parties. Lucasfilm has had trouble hiring young and promising filmmakers with big ideas about the Star Wars franchise, and leading to significant reshoots on both Rogue One and the upcoming Han Solo prequel, the latter of which had to replace directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller in the middle of production because they didn’t see eye-to-eye with the studio. Ron Howard has been brought into oversee the completion of that particular film.
Although Stephen Daldry brings considerable clout to the Star Wars franchise, his relative inexperience with the sci-fi and action genre, and with franchise filmmaking in general, may make him more amenable to close collaboration with Lucasfilm. But of course, only time will tell. The studio has been on this path before, multiple times, and very recently.
With no screenplay in place, any discussion of the plot of the Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off would speculative and premature. But it is worth noting that Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels, has publicly stated he would be willing to return to the series. The 46-year-old actor is roughly 17 years younger than Sir Alec Guinness was when he played the role in the original Star Wars, which could potentially set the stage for a storyline that takes place between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
But again, that is pure conjecture. For all we know Lucasfilm is planning to make a prequel about Obi-Wan Kenobi as a youngling. Yippee.
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Top Photo: Lucasfilm
William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on Canceled Too Soon and watch him on the weekly YouTube series What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.