Disney’s next STAR WARS feature a Challenge for the Studio

There is no doubt of STAR WARS’ durability as a franchise. Now in its 41st year, the series has prospered under the new stewardship of Walt Disney, though not without some bumps in the road. ROGUE ONE underwent a change in director and major reshoots after initial production. THE LAST JEDI did not but has not gone over as well with fans as the studio hoped.

However, the big question mark is SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. Original directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller were hired to (presumably) bring the same sort of irreverent sensibility that made THE LEGO MOVIE such a critical and box office darling. However, part way through the filming of SOLO, the pair were let go. After a production break, veteran director Ron Howard was brought on board to complete the film and reportedly reshot a huge amount of the original material.

After a commercial hyping the release of the trailer during the Super Bowl, the spot appeared online today. Fan reaction has been mainly positive thus far, which no doubt comes as a relief to everyone at Lucasfilm and Disney. However, the fact that there was any trepidation at all with such a reliable property underscores the main problem here: Disney is making these things too quickly.

The release of the original films and prequels were each spaced three years apart. When SOLO hits theatres in a few months, it will be the fourth STAR WARS in only three and a half years. The fact that two of these four movies required a change of directors and major reshoots demonstrates a lack of care in the all-important conception stage. Could Disney’s haste be compromising their golden egg? It seems like a distinct possibility. We’ll know for sure this summer when SOLO’s reviews and returns start coming in.

Disney Has Another Impressive Line-Up of Movies for 2018

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER stars Chadwick Boseman as superhero
T’Challa/Black Panther. Credit: Matt Kennedy/©Marvel Studios 2018

With such worldwide smashes as BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, the Walt Disney Company easily dominated the movie industry worldwide and look set to repeat that feat this year. In addition to its own celebrated animated and live action films, Disney also owns and distributes the output of Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Pixar. All of these different branches of the company have come through with another great line-up of movies for 2018. Here’s a peek!

Feb. 16th: BLACK PANTHER (Marvel)

Rising star Chadwick Boseman plays the legendary comic book hero, getting his own vehicle after a memorable appearance in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR.

March 9:  A WRINKLE IN TIME

Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon star in this lush adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s 1963 novel.

May 4: AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

The greatest superhero team in the universe reassembles to take on the all-powerful Thanos, played by Josh Brolin. This entry also features none other than the Guardians of the Galaxy.

May 25: SOLO: A STAR WARS

The next STAR WARS spinoff depicts the early days of everyone’s favorite intergalactic rogue, played here by Alden Ehrenreich.

June 15: INCREDIBLES 2

Long-requested, this follow-up to the mammothly popular Pixar feature finally arrives this year.

July 6: ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

Evangeline Lilly teams up with Paul Rudd for this follow-up to the 2015 Marvel hit.

Nov. 2: MULAN

Following the huge success of the live-action BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, another beloved Disney animated featured is reinvisioned, with Liu Yifei as the resourceful Chinese heroine.

Nov. 21: RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2

John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman are back for this follow-up to the 2012 animated hit.

See you at the multiplex! In the meantime, here is the action-packed trailer for AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.