Disney is apparently not going to be screwing around much with its new toy Star Wars. Starting in 2015, we’re going to see a new Star Wars movie every year.
Essentially, Disney has decided that all nerd properties are interchangeable, so Star Wars can totally handle constantly having new films released, right?
Confirming a strategy of aggressive franchise expansion, Disney announced at CinemaCon that they are planning to release a new Star Wars movie every year, starting with the J.J. Abrams-powered Episode VII in summer 2015. The plan is to release a standalone spinoff the following year — probably one of the projects focusing on Boba Fett or Young Han Solo — and alternate between numerals and spinoffs from there.
The idea, of course, is that all the spinoffs will be amazingly popular in their own right, become their own franchises, and Disney will make even more offensively large piles of cash than it already does.
Granted that the Star Wars brand was, ah, tainted a bit by the prequels, but we have to question this whole “Marvel” strategy for a couple of reasons. First off, they don’t have Marvel’s team behind this franchise. That’s not meant as a slight to the team they do have: Kathleen Kennedy is a respected executive for excellent reason.
Secondly, Marvel’s method is pretty distinct: Choose a property that people have heard of, hire a director with respected chops who has cred but isn’t expensive, and within reason let him make the movie he wants to make. Marvel has had damn near impeccable taste in directors and has scored some major coups: Kenneth Branaugh directing Thor, for example, brought in the art house crowd.
But that model hasn’t really been tested yet: We start Marvel’s Phase 2 in a few weeks, and while it doesn’t seem likely that any of the movies involved will be stinkers, that doesn’t mean they’ll all clean house either.
More to the point, they’re all separate and unique franchises. Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man were all different movies with different styles. Star Wars doesn’t really have that advantage and it’s hard to see how Disney will create it.
On the other hand, let’s not pretend that a Boba Fett movie announcement, if that actually comes to pass, won’t end with this: