Marvel’s Kevin Feige Making a Star Wars Movie: Trouble or Bonus for Kathleen Kennedy?
If anyone knows how to build a universe, the chief architect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe does. So, it really should come as no surprise the Kevin Feige will make a Star Wars movie for parent company Disney. Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker will bring the original narrative saga to an end, closing the big-screen book for legacy characters. This leaves an entire galaxy of stories for future Star Wars auteurs to tell, like Jon Favreau’s Western-inspired The Mandalorian. Thus far, under the leadership of George Lucas’ hand-picked successor Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm allowed individual writers and directors to make films unfettered by a larger plan. The Lucasfilm story group makes sure there is no deviation from established canon, but otherwise they have carte blanche. So, putting Kevin Feige on Star Wars makes perfect sense. Yet, what will become of Kennedy?
How Kevin Feige Can Help Star Wars
Image by Dick Thomas Johnson via Flickr
If one can’t tell from all the references to Star Wars movies in Marvel films, Feige is definitely a fan. And after earning more than $20 billion for Disney with the MCU, it’s only fair he gets a crack at Star Wars. Of course, the question on many fans’ minds is what this means for Kathleen Kennedy. Responsible for the massive success of the early Star Wars films for Disney, things seemed fine. After the poor performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story and The Last Jedi’s failure to earn as much as The Force Awakens, it’s possible the veteran producer may be in jeopardy. Of course, it could also mean that she’s savvy enough to know where she can use a narrative mind like Feige’s.
As Walt 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.”
To say that Kevin Feige will make a Star Wars film does not mean he’s going to write and direct. Feige is a storyteller, but he’s got a mind for the “big picture.” With both Rian Johnson and Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss developing full Star Wars trilogies, a producer like Kevin Feige can help. He’s excellent at weaving threads throughout multiple films, developing macro-stories, and finding small moments in one film to pay off in a later one. Most of Kennedy’s experience, however, comes from working with directors like Lucas and Stephen Spielberg who have singular narrative visions. Feige’s eye might be just what Star Wars needs.
Why Kevin Feige’s Addition May Be Bad News for Kathleen Kennedy
Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr Creative Commons
For all of Kathleen Kennedy’s impressive bona fides, her Star Wars success is dulled somewhat by the last two films. As mentioned, Solo: A Star Wars Story underperformed at the box office, the production also faced some drama. Phil Lord and Chris Miller ended up replaced as directors in favor of Ron Howard, himself a Lucas protégé after working with him on American Graffiti and Willow. In fairness to her, Disney failed to give it a good release date, sandwiching it between Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Also, the controversial reaction from a vocal minority to Star Wars: The Last Jedi coupled with a smaller box office than the previous film, could spell trouble. Some folks, like those who throw massive fan-hate towards Batwoman, blame her for their Star Wars gripes, despite the fact that Rian Johnson made the film that made them so angry.
So, the addition of Kevin Feige to the Star Wars process at the executive level could mean that her control ends up halved. Kennedy’s stewardship of Lucasfilm thus far is impressive. Feige faced almost no expectations when Marvel Studios began making their own films. Kennedy, however, had to deliver a new installment in a franchise where its fans had been writing the sequels in their own heads for decades. Even Lucas’ own second swing at the Star Wars plate, the prequels, took about ten years to be truly appreciated. (And only after Dave Filoni and the storytellers on The Clone Wars helped expand and refine those stories.) Star Wars fans who look back at the movies from when they were kids as perfection are harder to please than fans who never even expected this many Marvel Comics movies.
Will Marvel Miss Kevin Feige If He Focuses on Star Wars?
Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr Creative Commons
One of the factors in the standoff between Sony and Disney over Spider-Man in the MCU is Feige’s time. Along with MCU Phase 4, he also has to figure out how to bring the X-Men into the MCU. (Also, it’s possible that after Dark Phoenix, fans have X-Men fatigue.) To divide his time further towards Star Wars projects seems to go against that narrative. Yet, after ten years of shaping the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Feige has to have protégés of his own who can help take over for him. Just as Filoni studied at the feet of Lucas, new producers at Marvel Studios may be ready to step up and take some of the load off of Feige’s shoulders.
Update: Kevin Feige May Cast Brie Larson in His Star Wars Movie
The initial reports indicated that Kevin Feige would want to cast a franchise MCU actor in his Star Wars film. While nothing official has been announced, Brie Larson posted a tweet of her dressed in Jedi robes and posing next to none other than C3PO. It’s possible that Captain Marvel might make her way into the galaxy far, far away.
Did someone say Star Wars?! pic.twitter.com/e6vVm5wW2p
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) September 27, 2019
What do you think? Are you excited to see Kevin Feige’s effect on Star Wars, or do you think he should stick to the MCU? Tell us in the comments below or find us on Facebook or Twitter and let us know your thoughts!
Featured image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr Creative Commons
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.