I don’t think it’s necessarily a matter of having material to draw from thoguh, I mean, I’m sure it helps, but I think they need someone over the SW camp who can get the pulse of the audience better than they have so far.
In the end, getting material shouldn’t be too hard, I’m sure there’s about a billion writers out there salivating for their chance at a SW pitch… they need someone with an eye for what would be good going forward and what wouldn’t be as good… They’ll still have bumps and whatnot, but they need to properly set-up a MCU-like movie model if they’re intent on pumping out 1, 2 or even 3 SW movies a year.
I guess they need a man (or woman, whatever) with a plan, because it’s quite telling that out of the 5 movies that they’ve produced (I’m including episode 9 since it’s happening for sure, probably already in production), they’ve fired the directors for three of those… Doesn’t give a lot of confidence.
I think the shared universe is still a really new concept for Hollywood and it flies in the face of decades of filmmaking.
Hollywood has, for nearly a century, relied on star power and auteur directors (from Cecil B. DeMille to Spielberg to Tarantino) to draw in audiences, and now, with the MCU, they’re looking at an almost television approach where you have what amounts to a “showrunner” calling the shots across dozens of interconnected films. The stars and directors are now taking backseats to the big picture.
And that’s why we’re seeing Universal stumble with their “Dark Universe.” They’re tossing money around hiring big name stars like Cruise and Depp, and, hey, they have Tom Cruise, so let’s make that Mummy movie into a Mission Impossible knock-off. And they’re just taking it one movie at a time without any thought to how this is going to work six or seven movies down the line.
And Warners/DC is doing that to a lesser extent, where they want to copy the MCU’s success without doing all of the heavy lifting. They made a Superman movie, sat on their asses to see what happened, gave the reigns to Zack Snyder (apparently 300, Watchmen, and Man of Steel meant he had earned the right to drive the DC Cinematic Universe), hired Affleck to be Bruce Wayne, jumped right into Batman vs Superman (with the “Death of Superman” tagged on), and made Justice League their fifth movie without really establishing half of the team. There’s really no long-range planning outside of putting a lot of vaporware movies into development. And now they’re in a situation where they have Affleck as Batman and Leto as the Joker, and they can’t even get a fucking Batman movie into production.
As far as Star Wars goes, I think Kennedy probably shouldn’t be calling thse shots. I think she’s still stuck in the old way of doing things and is in way over her head. Just look at all of the turmoil going on behind the scenes, with directors being fired right and left, and entire movies being reshot. And she’s handed out two trilogies, one to Rian Johnson and one to the Game of Thrones guys, to do whatever they want to. It just doesn’t seem like there’s any kind of vision there except hire a director and ask them what they want to do.
And, yes, Star Wars has a ton of stuff they can strip mine from the old EU. Grand Admiral Thrawn, Xizor and Black Sun, Tales of the Jedi, Knights of the Old Republic, Darth Bane, Darth Revan, Darth Plagueis, the Yuuzhan Vong war, Legacy. And even in the new canon comics there are great new characters like Doctor Aphra, BT-1, 0-0-0, Black Krrsantan, and Magna Tolvan. And they can also bring characters like Hera and Sabine into the live action films from Rebels.
How much of the potential audience knows that they changed directors? I’d forgotten until being reminded about it in this thread, and even now I can’t tell you who the current director is without going back and re-reading the thread, let alone who the original one was.
I know details like that are important to film buffs and genre geeks, but I don’t think ordinary people notice directors, outside a tiny few whose names are household words. Even if the man-in-the-theatre-seat heard that the director changed (unlikely, as he didn’t even know there was a Solo movie until he saw a trailer last month), why would he care? It’s changd from some guy he’s never heard of to some other guy he’s never heard of. The importanrt thing is that it’s still got Harrison Ford, right? Wait, WHAT???
I tend to agree. Talking to some ‘muggles’ in the pub the other day (i.e. people who watch films but don’t follow all that kind of news or necessarily know who the directors are) they commented that they were barely aware Solo was coming out, unlike with say TLJ or Infinity War where publicity had reached them.
I think part of that probably is the 5 month gap since the last film.
Yes, and the decision not to promote Solo before TLJ came out meant that they had a much-reduced period to build awareness compared to the last three SW films. Four to five months at most, compared to almost a year for TFA, TLJ and Rogue One.
To be fair though (and ironically, I suppose) Snyder actually had a plan and a road-map to get there (and yes, yes I know most people here thought his “plan” was bad, whatever)…
Sure he probably was told to take some short-cuts, but the plan was there… but then Warner also got jumpy and chickened out with the BvS reaction, and they basically got rid of him and made a ungodly mess…
Had they not interfered too much, they might’ve been looking at a proper cinematic shared universe at this point.
I do like this narrative that if only Synder had been allowed to do what he wanted then the DCU would be saved.
He directed MoS, BvS and most of Justice League (and had not-insubstantial influence over the other DCU movies too), so it’s not like he didn’t have a chance to do what he wanted to do with the characters. The problems faced by the DCU go back a lot further than the production changes on Justice League.
Okay I kind of have to say, the impact The Matrix had at the time may feel muted by everything since, but at the time it was anything but.
It wasn’t just the concept. It wasn’t just the bullet time. It wasn’t just the perfect heroes story of a plot. It wasn’t just the incredible design and athstetics like the black suits actually being very dark green. It wasn’t just the incredible wire work and stuntsmanship. It wasn’t just the red pill sequence which was like nothing we’d ever seen. It wasn’t just the Propellarheads music playing as two badasses in trenchcoats walk into a building guns blazing. It wasn’t just that it was clearly influenced by manga and anime. It wasn’t just that it was perfect timing as we were only getting used to the internet. It wasn’t just a fantastically realized and performed villain. It wasn’t just a film that was the most original thing we’d ever seen on screen up to that point, despite the fact it stole from a million sources. It wasn’t just the fact that it was a film everyone loved, critics and non-genre fans especially. It wasn’t just that it was blatantly - to anyone who read comics - a superhero story.
I remember the impact. I remember the time before The Matrix in pop culture and the time after. I remember my friend, Bud, actually came up on ecstasy while watching it in the cinema, during the red pill scene. I remember everyone one of us looking at each other stunned after it. I remember walking out of the cinema, a group outing of 8 cynics going in and 8 converted, blown-away punters walking out. I remember telling my mate that this was it. People like us were in the system. From now on we’d start to get the sort of films and TV we’d always wanted. What Star Wars had started had finally kicked in.
The Matrix was the gateway to this explosion of pop-culture. Before that genre makers who weren’t Cameron or Speilberg weren’t trusted. Before The Matrix, everyone played it safe with genre. Afterwards everyone wanted a taste of what The Matrix had did. Slowly the landscape began to shift. And now here we are. MCU is the biggest franchise that has possibly ever existed and a fantasy book with dragons, swearing, sex and violence is the most popular TV show in the world. I remember what it was like before The Matrix and, trust me, that was an inkling in no one’s eye, let alone us nerds and geeks. The Matrix gave us a pedestal.
Plus beyond that it’s still a great movie that holds up. Imagine they hadve nailed the sequels.
Oh no, they completely repurposed JL. That was definetly not how it was gonna happen… I mean, the fact that it was gonna be a 2-parter and feature Darkseid, well that gives you an idea of just how much they changed it… they re-wrote it and re-shot it to be a one-off… =/
But anyways, as I said, I know all of the nay-sayings and all of the hate, so let’s not get into this all over again…
Wether you liked his movies or not, the man had a plan to build a shared Universe, that much is at least a fact… it got meddled with, and then it just got scrapped. You can agree with the decision or not… doesn’t matter…
Ugh… always the same vitriol… gets old, my friend.
Well, at any rate, it seems that there was indeed an original cut (a WIP cut, of course, not finished) that many cast and crew actually watched*… so it’s not all that imaginary.
But yeah, it’s getting old being called a nutjob or a fanboy or whatever… so yeah sure whatever, it’s aaaaall in my head.
*I’m talking about not a 100% confirmed rumors, before you ask, but seemingly reliable info from the cast & crew’s mouths, for what it’s worth… could be bullshit, but doubtful… those WIP cuts are made in every production.
Also, it’s different for us because we were all adults when it all kicked off; it’s a different beast for someone who’s 20 now - they were ten when this whole thing kicked off and have truly grown up with it. There was no similar experience for me (unless we count actual comics but they were still a niche thing).
From a pure Movie perspective, for sure. Absolutely no competition. Marvel crushed anything, they stormed the box office with a black panther movie (WTF). These characters no one knew are cultural icons. It’s mad.
It feels like Potter has broader appeal, or at least broader exposure, outside movie fans and folks like us though.
Some people, probably quite a few really, are never going to the movies.
My parents and my grandma for example. Those people have likely still seen at least a couple of the Potter movies on TV or something, or they read a book out of curiosity.
Enough to know what it is. I think almost everyone will have some exposure, either directly, or eventually through their kids or a partner (as was my case).
Some of those people have never seen a Marvel movie and never will.
Yep and they have been mining Legends very effectively on the lower profile levels of books, comics and animation. (Hell, few will get the reference here but they’ve teased the 181st a good few times in Rebels but haven’t ported over Baron Soontir Fel.)
I found the lack of a trailer for Solo until but a handful of months quite weird. Not least as it was the R1 trailers that really sold me the film, but also gradually increased interest because it was quite spread out, teaser, some time later a full trailer then a further one - it kept the film’s profile high.
That might a British bias - in no way does Potter eclipse Marvel in any measurable way in the states. Both of course are terribly popular and have legions of fans, but Marvel movies audience has been twice what Potter was and Marvel movies are on TV almost nightly.
Do people think that Disney Star Wars would have gone better had they just bitten the bullet, recast Luke, Han and Leia for Episode 7 and taken it from there? To the world at large they, Darth Vader, Yoda, Chewie and the gay robots are Star Wars. They’re the ones that have grown in the public consciousness for four decades. Any characters added after the Original Trilogy have been, at best, acknowledged and, at worst, outright hated. They recast Obi-Wan for Phantom Menace out of necessity and people were cool with it, in no small part because of Ewan McGregor. Perhaps if they had found some acceptably cool actors to take on those iconic roles for these movies then things would not have lost momentum. It strikes me that, outside of the hardcore fans that will be there to complain no matter what, more people would be interested in seeing what happened next to those characters than in seeing them aged and getting bumped off for new characters that seem weak by comparison. It is inevitable that those new characters would pale when placed in stark contrast to some of the most cherished characters in pop culture. I don’t know if the legacy approach has ever really worked all that well. Star Trek probably came closest to pulling it off but even as a big TNG fan I know that more people associate it with Kirk and Spock than with Picard and Data. It also seems to me that there were more engaging stories to be told with the older characters as they deal with the ramifications of a post-Emperor Empire scrambling to somehow hold onto their power; of Luke doing what he can as the last Jedi and trying to create a future for the order; of Han dealing with becoming the proverbial king rather than an outlaw; of Leia trying to be the figurehead of peace for the new Republic; of Han and Leia trying to settle into life as a couple dealing with all this chaos. It seems that would have been more substantial than just letting the laws of diminishing returns set in.
Star Trek cheated the hell out of by doing its recast in a wholly different, new continuity and some fans still went nuclear over it.
LFL has spent a lot of time over the last 20 years successfully convincing a good few fans that everything was both canon and not. Disney continued with that too. The problem is that part of the fan base is too wedded to the idea for a divorce to be practical.
The reality is there’s no way to deliver a single product that would satisfy a fan base as diverse as SW, but does it follow from that that TFA - or TLJ - had to be the route taken? I don’t think so. I think it’s accepted that a new enemy by default means something went wrong, but the ST went pretty far with it by: Having the new Jedi killed off-screen, Han and Leia’s kid go bad, with a hinted backstory of them as abusive parents, though Kylo’s origin is so murky I don’t think anyone really knows save that Snoke also was involved(1), killing off the Republic off again.
(1) Some of the bits in the TLJ novelisation suggest a potentially good story of how Luke and Snoke crossed swords, probably over Ben. It needs a ton of development to work though.