Disney CEO Bob Iger, whose company acquired Lucasfilm in a $4.05 billion transaction last year, confirmed for investors that his company has lined up Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg to work on stand-alone Star Wars movies.
As THR first reported, Kasdan and Kinberg are working on separate films that will serve as spinoffs of the main new trilogy. Iger told CNBC that the pair are “working on films derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga, so we still plan to make Star Wars VII, VIII and IX roughly over a six-year period of time starting in 2015. But there are going to be a few other films released in that period of time, too.”
As previously announced, Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine) is writing Episode VII, which will be the first Disney-produced installment of the Star Wars saga. Late last month, Disney announced that J.J. Abrams will direct that first film. New Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy told THR in a cover story last week, that Abrams was reluctant to take on the role, concerned about his myriad other responsibilities. Undaunted, she set up a meeting with the longtime Star Wars fan.
“We spent a lot of time talking about how meaningful Star Wars is and the depth of the mythology that George [Lucas] has created and how we carry that into the next chapter,” she said. A deal was closed Jan. 25.
Disney has said Lucasfilm generated about $215 million in licensing revenue in 2012, without having released a Star Wars-related movie in five years. That includes profit from theme parks, merchandise, TV spinoffs and other sectors.