If true, it is news that will make a vocal minority of Star Wars fans happy. Rumor has it that Kathleen Kennedy will be out at Lucasfilm by September.
The rumor comes to us from The Ankler, what is described as a “Hollywood Insider” news letter. The Ankler doesn’t specify whether Kennedy will be fired by Disney, that she will step down, or the two will come to an amicable parting of the ways. But what ever happens, there will be a shake-up and Kennedy will be gone by late August.
As to how well The Ankler does with these kind of rumors, The Dork Side of the Force reports that they have been right about the following:
- Sue Kroll stepping down as the head of WB’s Worldwide Marketing
- Stacey Snider’s interest in joining the Amazon brand
- Anticipating the internal management problems and changes at Sony
- Glen Mazzara taking over as Dark Tower’s primary “showrunner.”
None of this means that they are always right or even right in this case. This is just to establish a track record.
There are a lot of reasons why this rumor is plausible. Kennedy is 65 and has a legendary resume of great films behind her. You can’t blame her if she wants to retire and spend time doing things away from the movie business. There are also reasons why she might be asked to leave. Solo: A Star Wars Story was a debacle that can realistically land on Kennedy’s doorstep. She was the one who hired Lord and Miller, she was the one who fired them during filming, requiring costly reshoots under Ron Howard. And those reshoots boosted up the budget so much that the film might end up being $50 million in the hole. Many execs have been fired for similar reason.
But for whatever reason for Kennedy’s departure, whether it by her own will or being forced out, the vocal cadre of toxic fans that have been calling for her ouster will take credit for it. Kennedy has been the target or a lot of the harassment and abuse from the more odious Star Wars fans, receiving everything from petitions asking to have her fired to rape and death threats. If Kennedy actually leaves her post, these toxic fans will become even more empowered to continue their bullying against more and more of their targets.
But right now, all we have are rumors. Kennedy could stay on for years to come. But it is a situation that warrants keeping an eye on.