Some more news and clarifications coming out of yesterday’s surprise acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney and the announcement that they are already developing a new live action trilogy of Star Wars films.
First up is word on what the new trilogy won’t be and that is an adaptation of any of the books that currently make up the franchise’s “Expanded Universe.” E! Online is reporting from a source inside Lucasfilm that the treatment for this new round of live action films written by George Lucas himself is an entirely original story. So for those of you hoping to see an adaptation of Timothy Zahn’s “Thrawn” trilogy of novels which kicked off the Star Wars book line in the early 1990s that is still going strong today, I have to tell you that it ain’t going to happen.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, honestly. Lucas and Lucasfilm has always maintained a relationship with the Expanded Universe material that allowed it to be semi-official canon until anytime that it would contradict anything the Lucas would like to do himself in his films. So this means that depending on what happens in Lucas’s treatments, much of the Expanded Universe set after Return Of The Jedi could be jettisoned, something that I don’t doubt will irritate a large sector of fans.
Of course, after this new trilogy, all bets are off so be prepared for anything.
Well, almost anything, for those of you hoping for a complete nine-film blu-ray (or whatever replaces blu-ray) box set after all the new films have been released. It seems that while Disney now controls Star Wars going forward, Twentieth Century Fox still has a bit of control over the original and prequel trilogies, specifically their distribution and home video rights. When Fox put up the money for the first Star Wars film, they received the film’s distribution and home video rights in perpetuity. For the remaining five films they control those rights until May 2020 at which point they would revert to Lucasfilm and now Disney. So if Disney is looking to put together an ultimate, nine film package they will need to strike some sort of deal with Fox.
But how likely is Fox to agree to a deal? It’s hard to say. Reportedly, Fox wasn’t even approached about buying the company, and I am sure that there are more than a few executives on the lot who are upset over the snub. Can Disney mend that fence? Well, they have a few years ahead of them to try.