Disney Still Hopeful About That Long-Rumored, Live-Action Star Wars TV Show
A potential live-action Star Wars TV show, often referred to by its working title of Star Wars: Underworld, has been rumored to be on the verge of development for the past few years. Back in 2013, Disney president Paul Lee said that ABC’s Disney Channel had “started conversations” with Lucasfilm about the idea. Last January, on the heels of the massive success of The Force Awakens, an anonymous Lucasfilm rep walked back that claim, saying the TV show probably wouldn’t happen, or at least not any time soon.
Today, however, word about the possible live-action TV show has sprung back into the news again, thanks to a lengthy interview that Disney/ABC TV’s Ben Sherwood did with The Hollywood Reporter. When asked about the Star Wars live-action show, Sherwood responded,
The live-action Star Wars plan rests in the hands of [Walt Disney Studios chairman] Alan Horn, [Lucasfilm president] Kathy Kennedy and the great folks at Lucasfilm. Somewhere we hope in a galaxy not too far away there will be a television show that will air on one of our networks. But I wouldn’t get anybody’s hopes up too high. They have a lot of movies to make between now and then. We are deep into a very productive relationship with Lucasfilm making [Disney XD’s] Star Wars Rebels. And we are in ongoing conversations with them on what is the next Star Wars animated show.
Sounds like we definitely have a new Star Wars TV show to look forward to, then—it’ll just be another animated offering, rather than the live-action show that’s been stuck in a will-they-won’t-they phase for years. Still, the Star Wars animated offerings have been consistently great, so it’s good to hear that those will be continuing to expand outward and explore more of that universe.
Even though Sherwood tells us not to get our hopes up, it’s also worth noting that last month, ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey told Deadline that ABC/Disney was in ongoing talks with Lucasfilm about the live-action show. So, basically, they’re still in the “conversations” phase, which is the same phase that they’ve been in, on and off, since 2013.
That said, everyone who has ever been asked about this topic in interviews—either from ABC or from Lucasfilm—has expressed nothing but positivity about the project and their hopes for it to happen. Even back in 2015, Kennedy told /Film that she definitely wants to use the concept for Underworld somewhere, somehow. After all, the original conceit and the scripts for Underworld was actually put together by George Lucas before he departed Lucasfilm. As Kennedy said back in 2015,
“Our attitude is, we don’t want to throw any of that stuff away. It’s gold. And it’s something we’re spending a lot of time looking at, pouring through, discussing, and we may very well develop those things further. We definitely want to.”
It’s just a question of when.
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