Disney and Lucasfilm Keeping Options Open, Negotiate With Carrie Fisher’s Estate to Keep Her Leia in Star Wars
It would be impossible to imagine anyone else playing General Leia Organa in future installments of the Star Wars franchise. Casting a younger actress to play her in the past a la Han Solo in the upcoming young Han Solo anthology film? Easier to picture. Since the iconic Carrie Fisher’s death, the future of all live-action versions of Leia was thrown up in the air, and as we reported, the folks at Lucasfilm were meeting to figure out next steps. Apparently, they’re keeping all their options open.
According to SyFy Wire, BBC Newsnight ran a segment on the CG involved in “resurrecting” Peter Cushing and de-aging Fisher for Rogue One while dropping this juicy nugget: “And [in] what might be regarded as unseemly haste, Disney is negotiating with the actor’s estate over her continued appearance in the franchise. If Disney gets the go-ahead, Carrie Fisher will join Peter Cushing …”
Now, “negotiating…over her continued appearance” could mean any number of things, and doesn’t have to have anything to do with “joining Peter Cushing.” Actors have their likenesses used for all sorts of things when it comes to films, and Disney/Lucasfilm would have to continue negotiating with Fisher’s estate to include her image on stuff like future merchandise, images of Leia characters in future films might have, use of voice recordings of her, etc. Frankly, making the automatic leap to “joining Peter Cushing” seems a bit hasty.
However, there is also the possibility that Disney/Lucasfilm might want to go the digital resurrection route and create future Leia performances in upcoming Star Wars installments. Whether they actually decide to go that route or not, I totally understand wanting to keep that option open for storytelling purposes. After all, it feels “too soon” to be talking about doing this now, with Fisher’s death still so fresh, but that doesn’t mean we’ll feel the same way about it in ten, twenty, thirty years.
Depending on what happens with Leia in the already-finished Episode VIII, the story might require Leia to be kept around if not for Episode IX, then perhaps beyond that. At the very least, she might need *sniff* a Force ghost. All of that is stuff that needs to be worked out legally with her estate.
I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have to think about things like this when you’ve just lost your friend and colleague, but that’s what Team Star Wars has to do right now. Here’s hoping that whatever decisions they make maintain that tricky balance between the needs of their story, respect for Fisher, and love of Leia.
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