Though the current focus is rightly on director J.J. Abrams’ highly anticipated sequel Star Wars: Episode VII as production is set to begin in earnest next week, Disney is also cognizant of the larger picture for its Star Wars franchise. We know that Episode VII will be followed by Episode VIII and Episode IX to fill out the new trilogy, and we also know that Disney and Lucasfilm are developing Star Wars spinoff films to pad their release schedule over the next decade. This plan is not unlike Marvel Studios’ approach to their cinematic universe, and is yet another example of what The Avengers hath wrought.
Disney had previously acknowledged that there would definitely be two Star Wars spinoff films in the pipeline, but speaking today, CEO Bob Iger revealed that “at least three” spinoff movies are now planned. Hit the jump for more.
While speaking during a quarterly earning stockholders call (via Variety reporter Marc Graser), Iger revealed that “at least three” Star Wars spinoffs are planned to mine the sci-fi franchise over the next decade in addition to Episodes 7, 8, and 9. This ups the ante from the previously mentioned two spinioffs, though it’s not exactly a surprise since Disney and Lucasfilm likely have far-reaching plans for the Star Wars franchise.
Screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan (Empire Strikes Back) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past) have been working on the spinoff films for over a year, and the early rumor was that the standalone films would be a young Han Solo movie and a Boba Fett movie. We’ve received no further confirmation on that front, and both Kasdan and Kinberg have had their hands full as of late so there’s no telling how far along these spinoff films are right now. Kasdan took over scripting duties on Episode VII with Abrams late last summer and is currently in London fine-tuning the script ahead of production, and Kinberg has been working with Fox on the Days of Future Past sequel X-Men: Apocalypse as well as producing The Fantastic Four.
Disney has previously confirmed its plan to release a new Star Wars film every year starting in 2015, so if they’re to stick to that plan we would likely see the first spinoff movie sometime in 2016. Again, we don’t know for certain what the spinoffs will be and how far along the scripts are, but it’s clear that Iger and Disney are eager to mine this Star Wars franchise for all it’s got. Personally, I’d love to see Star Wars spin off movies that take advantage of the excellent new castmembers added to Episode VII, but the smart business play is to go with a popular IP. As such, don’t be surprised to see a very familiar character get the first standalone film.
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