ABC to Consider Live-Action STAR WARS TV Series

     January 10, 2013


This is a bit of a no-brainer, but now that Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm is complete, they are privy to a number of properties that have been developed by the George Lucas‘ former studio.  One such project is the ambitious live-action TV series iteration of Star Wars that has been in development for a number of years.  Produced by Rick McCallum, there are said to be 50 scripts written and completed for the show, but it has yet to go to the production stage because the effects-heavy series necessitates a larger-than-normal budget.  Well, the wait for the Star Wars live-action TV show could possibly be over sooner rather than later, as Disney subsidiary ABC will now be taking a look at the project to see if it’s something they might want to bring to fruition.  Hit the jump for more.

star-wars-episode-v-the-empire-strikes-back-posterFirst off, here’s a brief refresher for those of you unfamiliar with the live-action series.  McCallum has stated that there are 50 one-hour scripts written and ready to go, penned by writers like Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore.  The stories take place in the 20-year period between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, but the focus of the series is on characters other than the main cast from the films.  McCallum previously described the show’s darker tone as that of Empire Strikes Back on steroids, with a touch of Deadwood.

The sticking point for getting this show off the ground was always money.  Each episode was budgeted at around $5 million, which is a lot in the world of television.  Moreover, Lucasfilm wanted to retain ownership of the series, giving whichever network aired the show a smaller cut of the profit.  Now that Disney owns both Lucasfilm and ABC, obviously the network is going to look into possibly making the show.  ABC president Paul Lee had this to say to EW:

“We’d love to do something with Lucasfilm, we’re not sure what yet. We haven’t even sat down with them. We’re going to look at [the live-action series], we’re going to look at all of them, and see what’s right. We weren’t able to discuss this with them until [the acquisition] closed and it just closed. It’s definitely going to be part of the conversation.”

Lee makes no guarantees of the series going forward on ABC, though, and says it would be tricky to juggle a television show and a feature film franchise set within the same universe, with a new Star Wars film due to hit theaters in 2015:

“It’s going to be very much up to the Lucasfilm brands how they want to play it,” he said. “We got to a point here with Marvel, a very special point, where we’re in the Marvel universe, and very relevantly so, but we’re not doing The Avengers. But S.H.I.E.L.D. is part of The Avengers. So maybe something oblique is the way to [approach the Star Wars universe] rather than going straight head-on at it.”

Again, this is all incredibly preliminary, but now that Disney owns Lucasfilm there’s a much greater chance of the live-action Star Wars series seeing the light of day sooner rather than later.