When critics suggested that allowing Disney to buy Fox would give the combined studio unacceptable power which they would inevitably use to make life worse for consumers, supporters of the acquisition argued that any cultural or economic harm Disney wreaked would be more than offset by the pure joy fans would feel at the prospect of having so many lucrative intellectual properties earning money for the same shareholders. So far, the age of Disney has mostly meant layoffs, more layoffs, and a vicious, stupid new repertory screening policy, but it looks like the studio is finally making good on its promise to deliver the most ambitious crossover events in film history. That’s right: Marvel’s Kevin Feige is joining the Star Wars universe.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Feige, the producer behind the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, is now developing a Star Wars film with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “With the close of the Skywalker Saga, Kathy is pursuing a new era in Star Wars storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a Star Wars film together,” explained Walt Disney Studios co-chairman Alan Horn. The “Skywalker Saga” is the nine-film series that began with Star Wars in 1977 and will end at last with director J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker on Dec. 20.
Some sources say that the Feige-Kennedy Star Wars film will be a one-off collaboration, a tribute to Feige’s love of Star Wars, while others think he will be taking a larger role at Lucasfilm going forward. It’s a sensitive topic, because Kennedy is one of the very few women in a position of leadership at Disney, and she was grandfathered in, having been hired by George Lucas before Disney acquired Lucasfilm. But as the Hollywood Reporter points out, Kennedy’s reign over her franchise has not been as smooth as Feige’s tenure at Marvel: Colin Trevorrow got fired from Episode IX, Phil Lord and Chris Miller got fired from Solo halfway through, and Gareth Edwards had Rogue One given to Tony Gilroy to finish. For his part, Feige lost Edgar Wright from Ant-Man, Ava DuVernay from Black Panther, and Patty Jenkins from the movie that eventually became Thor: The Dark World, but at least the cameras hadn’t started rolling.
Details of the Feige Star Wars film are still under wraps, but there are details: Feige reportedly has a specific role in mind for “a major actor.” Daniel Day-Lewis, call your agent.