Ever since George Lucas founded Lucasfilm, Ltd., the movie studio’s focus has been the Star Wars franchise. With the release of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), a cinematic force — no pun intended — to be reckoned with was born.
A New Hope was followed by the eight other movies in the Skywalker Saga — Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017), and Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019) — which explored the stories of iconic characters like Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew/Joonas Suotamo), Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor/Alec Guinness), and more.
The sequel trilogy, of course, came out after The Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm in 2012 — and, now, the Disney+ streaming platform has become the home of the Star Wars franchise, anchored by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni’s hit series, The Mandalorian.
During the 2020 Disney Investor Day event, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy thrilled fans when she announced almost a dozen upcoming Star Wars series — including Mandalorian spinoff, Ahsoka, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, and The Acolyte — and confirmed details regarding several other upcoming projects, such as Indiana Jones 5 and Children of Blood and Bone.
Now, however, due to an intense focus on the expansion of the Star Wars galaxy, Lucasfilm has let the rights to Children of Blood and Bone lapse, and will no longer be pursuing the film project.
For those involved with the project, the acquisition made sense, especially when Rick Famuyiwa, a director on The Mandalorian, was attached to the film.
But the project stalled. Sources contend that Lucasfilm brass let development languish as the studio turned its focus to its rapidly growing Star Wars series slate, which includes not only more Mandalorian seasons but The Book of Boba Fett and numerous others.
The article went on to note that the situation between Lucasfilm and author Tomi Adeyami “began to sour just months after the 2020 Disney Investor Day presentation.” Reportedly Adeyemi “grew disenchanted with the pace” of the project and wanted more say in the script adaptation than Lucasfilm was willing to grant.
Now, Children of Blood and Bone will be turned into a movie by Paramount Pictures. The studio is reportedly giving Nigerian-American Adeyami her desired amount of control over the project.
The official description of the young adult fantasy novel reads:
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.
As for Lucasfilm, the team has, per THR, “decidedly shifted away from developing projects that are new and is leaning even more toward those already under its umbrella. Those include a series based on the 1988 fantasy Willow, Indiana Jones 5 and, yes, many, many Star Wars movies and shows.”
These projects include Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and Thor director Taika Waititi’s Star Wars movies, as well as Patty Jenkins’s Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, which has been re-added to the Lucasfilm production schedule after reportedly being temporarily scrapped late last year.
What do you think about Lucasfilm losing the rights to Children of Blood and Bone?