Much discussion has been had about what went wrong with “Solo: A Star Wars Story” back in May. The Han Solo origin movie (directed by Ron Howard) has been warmly received among fans of the “Star Wars” franchise, but general audiences around the world did not embrace it so well at the box office. Was it bad timing? Poor marketing? Or just a case of “too much, too fast”?
In an interview in today’s The Hollywood Reporter, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger sat down with reporter Matthew Beloni to discuss a variety of topics relating to the multimedia conglomerate, including the upcoming Disney streaming service, the company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, and even the recent firing of director James Gunn from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise (he hasn’t “second-guessed” the decision.)
During the interview, Iger and Beloni also touch on strategy behind the release schedule for the Disney-owned Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars” movies.
I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made — I take the blame — was a little too much, too fast. You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to make films. J.J. [Abrams] is busy making [Episode] IX.
We have creative entities, including [Game of Thrones creators David] Benioff and [D.B.] Weiss, who are developing sagas of their own, which we haven’t been specific about. And we are just at the point where we’re going to start making decisions about what comes next after J.J.’s. But I think we’re going to be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that.
At the end of the piece, the conversation also turns to the somewhat controversial announcement that alcohol will be available to guests at Disneyland‘s highly anticipated new area Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which opens early next summer.
After joking that folks shouldn’t drink and drive on the park’s Autopia attraction (and that Walt Disney had “a nip or two in his apartment at night”), Iger gave a serious answer: “I am a big believer in tradition. This just seemed like one of those traditions that if we changed it the empire wasn’t going to crumble.”