It’s Sort of Boring That Marvel’s Kevin Feige Is Producing a Star Wars Movie
When will you hire a woman?
Stop the presses and get ready for discourse, because Marvel movie overlord Kevin Feige is working with Lucasfilm to produce a Star Wars movie.
Disney chairman Alan Horn told The Hollywood Reporter, “We are excited about the projects Kathy and the Lucasfilm team are working on, not only in terms of Star Wars but also Indiana Jones and reaching into other parts of the company including Children of Blood and Bone with Emma Watts and Fox. With the close of the Skywalker Saga, Kathy is pursuing a new era in Star Wars storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a Star Wars film together.”
Before we go further, let’s do away with the idea that Feige is now set to replace Kathleen Kennedy as president of Lucasfilm. Feige producing one film does not mean that the fanboys who hate Kennedy are getting their dream come true. Feige is just working with Kennedy and Lucasfilm to produce one film at the present time. He’s not taking over Lucasfilm and Marvel.
My initial reaction to this Feige news was a mix of “ugh” and “this makes sense.” The ugh stems from Lucasfilm struggling to hire creators of color and female creators for their films, while making moves like this. In the initial rush of Star Wars movies, we’ve seen J.J. Abrams, Gareth Edwards, Rian Johnson, and Ron Howard; that doesn’t included the fired Colin Trevorrow, Phil Lord, and Chris Miller. Upcoming directors include Johnson coming back for a new trilogy, and my least favorites, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss of Game of Thrones fame, working on a trilogy.
Lucasfilm’s television has seen women and people of color hired for both animation and live action, but we still are lacking in representation behind the camera in the films, and that has to change. All the announcements for Star Wars movies look the same: a white man is hired, they talk in the press release about what a big fan they are, and we move forward. At some point, things have to get shaken up. White men are not the only talented directors/producers and big fans out there.
However, with this hiring, it does seem to make a little sense. Firstly, Feige is only producing. That means that a director of color or a female director, or writers who aren’t white men, can still be hired for the project. Feige has recently made a point of working with a more inclusive team of creators, so let’s hope that he follows suit with this and continues to advocate for more diversity behind the scenes on this particular Star Wars project. Also, like it or not, Feige is one of the most successful producers of all time. It makes sense that, since he’s in the Disney family, Star Wars would court him for a future project.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Feige has already spoken to a specific actor about a role in his film. There’s a real chance that could be Brie Larson, as she’s a Star Wars superfan. Seeing Larson as a Jedi would probably destroy her haters, so we can hope that she’s involved, though if they also want to bring in Tessa Thompson, I would be even more thrilled. It’d be nice for Thompson to take on the galaxy.
Overall, Feige’s hiring makes sense in a way, but just because it makes sense doesn’t erase Lucasfilm’s boys’ club of directors, writers, and producers. Feige knows how to make a crowd pleaser, but at the same time, unless he’s planning on hiring a director of color or a female director, I don’t particularly care what story he wants to tell. Something at Lucasfilm has to change behind the scenes. We need to start seeing them continue to try to break new and inclusive ground, rather than playing it as safe as possible.
(via The Hollywood Reporter, image: Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
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