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It’s Time to Take ‘Star Wars’ Movies Away from Kathy Kennedy

Kathy Kennedy
Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney
Matthew Belloni
November 14, 2021

I’m betting I wasn’t the only one who chuckled when the news broke on Tuesday that the Patty Jenkins Star Wars film—the one that Disney trumpeted with a video of the Wonder Woman director saying her goal was the “greatest fighter pilot movie ever made”; the one that had a title, Rogue Squadron, and a release date, in 2023; and the one with the it’s-really-taken-this-long? designation as the first Star Wars film to be directed by a woman—was not happening. Well, not not happening, just delayed indefinitely, if you believe Disney. Scheduling problems, prior commitments, we’ll regroup next year, yadda yadda.

I talked to a few insiders this week that said the real culprit was the dreaded “creative differences”; specifically, Jenkins couldn’t agree on the script with Lucasfilm executives, including senior V.P. Michelle Rejwan. That’s not unusual, of course, but it’s a laughably recurring problem at Lucasfilm under president Kathleen Kennedy, say agents: Top filmmakers are dying to make a Star Wars movie—until they sign on and experience the micromanagement and plot-point-by-committee process. It happened to the Game of Thrones guys, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, who were hired to create a new trilogy but bailed. It also happened to Rian Johnson, writer and director of 2017’s The Last Jedi, whose own planned trilogy was shelved. Jenkins wasn’t willing to dick around, and she has other projects, notably Wonder Woman 3 at Warner Bros., where she enjoys more creative freedom. (Disney and personal representatives for Jenkins and Kennedy declined to comment.)