Disney is eager to fire and replace Kathleen Kennedy over her disastrous handling of the Star Wars franchise, reports Grace Randolph of Beyond the Trailer.
The left-leaning trades –Deadline, the Hollywood Reporter, and Variety, etc. — continue to willfully drop the ball when it comes to intelligent and honest reporting on Disney’s imploding Star Wars franchise. This means their readers cannot trust them for accurate and objective information. If a single one of these outlets has shown the moral courage to accurately reporting on the fan revolt against the left-wing turn the franchise has taken with Kennedy at the wheel, I missed it.
And Kennedy’s politics are the whole enchilada, are the primary reason the most loyal fans in fandom are in full rebellion, and why The Last Jedi is now seen as the Batman vs. Superman of the Star Wars universe — meaning the movie that was still a hit but soured everyone on the franchise.
It is worth noting, though, that Last Jedi under-performed big time. Yes, $1.3 billion worldwide is serious cash, but its predecessor, The Force Awakens, grossed $2.1 billion.
Anyway, after Batman vs. Superman burned the fans, Justice League tanked; and after Jedi burned the fans, Solo was DOA.
By the way, Solo is a much bigger flop than Justice League, and by a country mile. Solo has already bottomed out at $203 million domestic and a devastating $354 million worldwide. Justice League earned $229 domestic and a fairly healthy $658 million worldwide.
But look at the entertainment media, look at their abysmal reporting on this massive story, look at how their personal politics and desire to suck up to all things Disney has resulted in wish-casting instead of journalism as they intentionally ignore the real reason behind the implosion of the most iconic franchise in Hollywood history.
And so, because we know the trades are compromised and dishonest, we are forced to look for reporting in the alternative media, which is where we learned things are so bad at Lucasfilm, the standalone features once in active development are now on hold or canceled. Either way, that report is almost a week old and Disney has not uttered a single word of pushback.
On the heels of that report comes the news that Disney is freaking out over the mind-boggling failure of Solo, a failure made all the more terrifying by that pathetic worldwide, and now Kathleen Kennedy’s job is on the line.
According to Randolph (you can watch her video report here and read a written version here), Disney chief Bob Iger held a super-secret conference call with all the hotshots at Lucasfilm. Guards were posted at the doors to prevent leaks. Also on the call were the big shots from Pixar and Marvel.
During the call, Iger reportedly admitted he wants to dump Kennedy but is stuck with her for two reasons: 1) half of the Lucasfilm division is loyal to her and 2) no one wants the job. J.J. Abrams (who directed the Force Awakens and the upcoming Episode IX) turned the job down flat. Apparently, no one wants to deal with Kennedy’s hardcore loyalists and no one wants to take the wheel of the Titanic.
Randolph also reports that Disney is fully aware of the real problem. Kennedy was never a Star Wars fan, she resented that it was targeted at boys, and decided to blow up what worked (which she hated) and remake the franchise into a politicized female empowerment vehicle aimed at Social Justice Warriors.
The result, though, is that her strident politics turned off the true fans. Meanwhile, Social Justice Warriors don’t buy enough toys (sales are waaaay down), and selling toys is supposed to be a no-brainer rainmaker every bit as lucrative as the films.
What Disney has figured out, according to Randolph, is that Kennedy’s utterly stupid decision to inject her divisive politics into what is supposed to be a fantasy movie, a two hour trip to another galaxy far, far away, has turned the most four-quadrant of four-quadrant movies into something that is not only ignoring two of those quadrants (kids and the older fans) but alienating them — which is death to any product.
On Kennedy’s side is the fact she has been a very successful producer for decades and that three of her four Star Wars films have made a ton of money. But the same is true of the DC franchise. Man of Steel, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and Batman vs. Superman all made a ton of money. The only flop is Justice League, which still made almost twice as much as Solo.
Nevertheless, despite four hits and just one flop, everyone knows the DC brand is in deep trouble, and no one is afraid to talk about it because the problem is a creative one.
Star Wars is different because the problem is political. No one wants to talk about the problem (except during super-secret, heavily guarded conference calls) because no one — and this includes Disney and the left-wing entertainment media — has the maturity to publicly admit that pushing a left-wing political agenda has been so rejected it is killing what everyone believed was the most durable and bulletproof brand in all of movies.
Disney now has two big problems on its hands. The first is Episode IX, the final chapter in this latest trilogy. According to Randolph, Kennedy has no say in the movie. Abrams has assumed full creative control, but Kennedy’s fingerprints are all over the script, which was finalized before Disney figured out she is killing the golden goose.
The second problem is that with the standalone movies dead (Obi Wan Kenobi, Boba Fett, etc.), if the franchise is going to live on, it must do so through a new trilogy. Well, guess who Kennedy has already been put in charge of that? Rian Johnson, the misguided creator of franchise killer The Last Jedi.
What’s more, Star Wars has already lost its most compelling characters: Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, and Darth Vader. Does anyone honestly believe Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) and their blander than bland characters can carry a franchise like Star Wars? No way.