This November has had a lot going on in the world of filmmaking. A famous director may be heading back to television. An award-winning director may be heading back to Star Wars. An adventurer may be heading for the moon. And a CEO makes his return to the largest studio in the world. Check out everything that happened.
Tarantino Goes TV Before Film
Quentin Tarantino has always been noted as a director of the film less so than television. He’s no stranger to TV as he has appeared on some programs and even directed episodes of CSI in 2005. For over a decade, however, he’s been more focused on the bigger screen than the smaller one, especially since he’s aiming to direct ten films in his lifetime. That’s about to change.
Rumors have been circulating since February that Tarantino may be in talks to write and direct a project for FX. The series would be a revival of the neo-western Justified but it’s unclear just how much involvement Tarantino would have in this project. He may also leave the project considering that he’s been approached for developing a Shaft TV series in the past but turned it down.
In terms of small media, Tarantino’s recent project was a collection of video essays on film in the series entitled Cinema Speculation. There are few details present about Tarantino’s next TV and movie projects given how tight-lipped the director has been with his projects. There’s been some speculation that he might even dip into a franchise, considering the interest he’s expressed in Star Trek and Marvel’s Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos.
Rian Johnson on More Star Wars
Rian Johnson left a great impact on the Star Wars franchise after directing “The Last Jedi”, the second entry of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, and the eighth chapter of what would become known as the Skywalker Saga. Before the film had even debuted, Lucasfilm was already considering letting Johnson helm a Star Wars trilogy of his own. While the news has been slow about this development, it was never off the table.
Johnson certainly has been busy since his last entry in Star Wars. Since then, he’s directed the award-winning murder-mystery “Knives Out” in 2019 and has already completed the sequel film, “Glass Onion”, hitting Netflix in December. In an interview with Empire, Johnson addressed why he’s still fighting for his next Star Wars project:
“It would break my heart if I were finished if I couldn’t get back in that sandbox at some point.”
As Johnson expanded on this point, he divulged that question of his Star Wars movies is not so much if but when. Scheduling seems to be the biggest issue.
In a more recent interview with Variety, Johnson once more said it was a matter of time before his next Star Wars film.
“I talked to Kathy [Kathleen Kennedy] about it and we’re still talking about it…I had such an amazing experience making “The Last Jedi”. It’s entirely a matter of scheduling. For me, putting [“Glass Onion”] out and making the next one of these…the answer is I don’t know.”
Lucasfilm leader Kathleen Kennedy has echoed this statement as well, bringing up how they’re eager to work with Johnson again. Of course, there’s a lot going on with Star Wars over on Disney+. The streaming service has unleashed a plethora of Star Wars shows that includes The Mandalorian, The Bad Batch, Clone Wars, Visions, Tales of the Jedi, The Book of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the more recent one being Andor.
Despite the deeply polarizing audience reception on “The Last Jedi”, it makes sense for Lucasfilm to tap Johnson for more Star Wars. The film received the highest Rotten Tomatoes score of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and earned an impressive box office return of $1.3 billion. There’s no word yet on when Johnson is scheduled to direct this new Star Wars saga or when it will debut in theaters.
New Info on Indiana Jones 5
In other Lucasfilm news, “Indiana Jones 5” is nearing a trailer reveal. Harrison Ford has already been promoting the film and speaking rather emotionally about how much fun it’s been to return to his iconic leading role. Now we’ve finally got some new details about what to expect in the next Indiana Jones entry, despite not getting a confirmed title.
According to Empire, the plot details for the fifth film will feature both Nazis and the space race. The setting will be that of the 1960s, fitting with the progression of Ford’s age and the age of the character, considering his last adventure was in the 1950s. Co-screenwriter Jez Butterworth expanded on what this plot would entail.
“The simple fact is that the moon-landing program was run by a bunch of ex-Nazis. How ‘ex’ they are is the question. And it gets up Indy’s nose…It’s not just that the model of what a hero is has completely changed. It’s not just that they’re looking for something where there’s nothing up there – it’s like Reno without the gambling, or whatever his line is. But the people that are behind it are, you know, his sworn enemies.”
Empire also revealed that the film will play with time by featuring a deaged Harrison Ford for an opening prologue.
The yet untitled Indiana Jones 5 is currently slated for a theatrical premiere date of June 30, 2023. The film is directed by James Mangold (“Logan”) and stars Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Boyd Holbrook, Thomas Kretschmann, Toby Jones, Antonio Banderas, and John Rhys-Davies.
Bob Iger Back As Disney CEO
As Disney continues to grow as a powerful company and studio, a familiar face is taking over once again. Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek has stepped down from the top position at the company which will now be filled by former Disney CEO Bob Iger. Here’s a look at the correspondence that went out to Disney employees informing them of the change in leadership:
“It is with an incredible sense of gratitude and humility—and, I must admit, a bit of amazement—that I write to you this evening with the news that I am returning to The Walt Disney Company as Chief Executive Officer. When I look at the creative success of our teams across our Studios, Disney General Entertainment, ESPN and International, the rapid growth of our streaming services, the phenomenal reimagining and rebound of our Parks, the continued great work of ABC News, and so many other achievements across our businesses, I am in awe of your accomplishments and I am excited to embark with you on many new endeavors.”
Iger had been CEO of Disney for 15 years before his departure. It’s uncertain what role Capek will have at Disney if any after stepping down. This is still a developing story but Iger accepted these duties with a note of optimism:
“I know this company has asked so much of you during the past three years, and these times certainly remain quite challenging, but as you have heard me say before, I am an optimist, and if I learned one thing from my years at Disney, it is that even in the face of uncertainty—perhaps especially in the face of uncertainty—our employees and Cast Members achieve the impossible.”
Cover credit: IMDb