Is the Lucasfilm boss about to go Solo?
It’s been a difficult last six months for the woman who was once riding high on a record-breaking relaunch of the Star Wars franchise with The Force Awakens, followed by the impressive debut of the Anthology spin-offs with the edgy Rogue One.
But Kennedy was also responsible for hiring and then firing Josh Trank, Chris Lord and Phil Miller, and Colin Trevorrow, all of which cost parent company Disney dearly with hundreds of millions of dollars spent on reshoots.
Unprecedented fan fury erupted over The Last Jedi, followed by a boycott of Solo A Star Wars Story which many believe contributed to that movie’s disastrous box office performance.
A new report echoes what many in Hollywood are starting to believe: “Kathleen Kennedy’s time as president of Lucasfilm is coming to an end.”
As well as swirling reports that she may be gone as early as September, it is being claimed that Kennedy is no longer directly involved with any of Lucasfilm’s current Star Wars projects.
The report added: “Kathleen Kennedy is also not involved at all creatively with John Favreaus’s live action TV series and the new Star Wars trilogy by the creators of Game of Thrones, DB Weiss and David Benioff. And even’s Rian Johnson’s new Star Wars trilogy.
“This sounds like Kennedy is leaving soon, either being fired or stepping down.”
This follows a widely circulated story earlier this month that Kennedy could announce her successor at Lucasfilm in September.
The report in influential Hollywood newsletter The Ankler also suggested that Kennedy may be tired of all the attacks and negativity, plus a punishing workload.
It said: “While Kathleen Kennedy worked wonders relaunching this property from the abyss of the Lucas prequel trilogy and turning it into a bigger than ever all-devouring cultural force, there has to be more than some thought that it’s time for new blood at the helm. The talk out there is of a September changing of the guards.”
The report adds: “There’s also plenty of reason to believe that Kennedy herself is tiring of this. The fights, the bad press – can’t be fun after a very gilded career…”
It seems hard to believe that the head of Lucasfilm is not actually involved creatively with any ongoing projects, inclusing Star Wars 9, but the situation has reached such a level that Marvel boss Kevin Feige was publicly asked directly this week if he would be taking over Lucasfilm.
Feige said he would not but the fact that the subject is now in the public domain means Disney must be aware of the damage it is causing the company’s credibility and public perception.
Disney recently released a statement through its subsidiary ABC News denying that the Obi-wan movie and Rian Johnson’s trilogy had been put on hold. Surely a statement regarding Kennedy’s fate must follow soon.