Lucasfilm puts 'A Star Wars Story' spinoffs on hold after poor performance from 'Solo'
The decision means that the fate of the spinoffs centered around Obi-Wan Kenobi and Boba Fett is now unknown as well
It looks like the less-than-exemplary performances of 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' at the box office is beginning to have repercussions, with Collider citing sources within Lucasfilm to report that plans for any further 'A Star Wars Story' spinoffs have been put on an indefinite hold. Instead, Lucasfilm is said to be looking to focus on the provisionally titled 'Star Wars: Episode IX,' which is currently scheduled for a December 2019 release and will follow up on the story of 'The Last Jedi'.
The decision means that the fate of the spinoffs centered around Obi-Wan Kenobi and Boba Fett is now unknown as well. The former was reportedly in active development but production is said to have been halted.
The initial news that the franchise would be getting spinoffs had been met with excitement from fans, though it almost immediately became apparent that getting them across the line would be anything but smooth sailing. A spinoff around Boba Fett was planned at the same time as 'Rogue One,' with Josh Trank (Chronicle, Fantastic Four) given the reigns. However, it was later removed from the company's release slate.
'Rogue One' had its share of well-documented issues as well. Problems with the film's story meant that the third act had to be reworked in its entirety, with Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, The Bourne Series) put in charge of the new scenes. Similarly, the recently-released 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' had to endure the firing of directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller during production over 'creative differences', with Ron Howard later directing in their stead.
The box office performance of 'Solo' has been underwhelming to say the least. Made on a production budget of around $250 million, it's opening weekend saw it gross just $147.5 million worldwide with many outlets stating that Disney would be losing anywhere between $50 million and $80 million on the film. As of this week, it had grossed a total of $342 million worldwide — $194.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $147.1 million in other territories — with it needing to surpass the $500 million mark to break even.
The numbers are quite similar to that of 'Rogue One,' which opened at $155 million and went on to gross $424 million by week four. But while 'Rogue One' premiered in the festive season in December, which has become the traditional release time for a Star Wars movie, 'Solo' released in May to competition from other big-hitters such as 'Deadpool 2' and 'Avengers: Infinity War.'
For now, it looks like Lucasfilm will expend its energy on ensuring its new trilogy of Star Wars films — which are said to focus on new characters penned by 'The Last Jedi' director Rian Johnson — after Episode IX is up to the mark. A new series of films written by 'Game of Thrones' showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss are also currently in the works.