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Disney's CEO says you should get ready for a 'slowdown' on 'Star Wars' films.

 

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It appears the disappointing box-office performance of "Solo: A Star Wars Story" has led Disney CEO Bob Iger to reconsider his release strategy for the "Star Wars" film series.

Iger told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Thursday that "Star Wars" fans could expect "some slowdown" in the production of the series, which saw two films, "Solo" and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," released in the span of five months this past year.

 

While 2017's "The Last Jedi" grossed $1.33 billion worldwide and received critical acclaim, the "Solo" spin-off fell way short of box-office expectations in its debut over Memorial Day weekend, ending with a $392 million worldwide gross against a reported $250 million production budget.

 

"Solo" notably had extended reshoots under director Ron Howard, who replaced Philip Lord and Christopher Miller, the directors who were ousted in summer 2017. The movie's critical reception was lukewarm.

 

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THR's Matthew Belloni said during his conversation with Iger that "many believe Disney should pump the breaks and not put out a 'Star Wars' movie each year."

 

In responding to Belloni, Iger referred to the upcoming "Star Wars" film series from the "Game of Thrones" cocreators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and detailed the "mistake" he believes he made in the "Star Wars" release strategy, along with his subsequent approach to a "slowdown."

 

"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," Iger said. "You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn't mean we're not going to make films."

 

He added that the director J.J. Abrams was busy making "Episode IX" and that "creative entities," including Benioff and Weiss, were "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," Iger added. "But I think we're going to be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that."

 

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I still think there's no way RJ's trilogy happens. Make no mistake, this isn't just about Solo's box office, It's about the fan reaction to TLJ as well.

 

And, not to feed into the Mattris contingent, but Iger talking about the strategy for Star Wars being "disappointing" isn't exactly a statement of full confidence in Kennedy.

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It depends. If she is the one held fully accountable for it. Iger took some of the blame himself.

 

Also, have you noticed Mattris is the only one here still talking about HOW AWFUL The Last Jedi was? Everyone else moved on.

 

TLJ haters are a vocal minority.

 

 

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Funny thing:  I think Rogue One was terrific but Solo was pretty much just what I wanted out of a Star Wars movie.  Han and Chewie getting into and out of scrapes, Star Wars locations, fun characters.  I just wanted more light.  And no, I didn't need to know "why" his name was Solo.  If they made another one we would get all of the good bits of Solo without any of the "We have to tell the backstory" nonsense.

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26 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

It depends. If she is the one held fully accountable for it. Iger took some of the blame himself.

 

Also, have you noticed Mattris is the only one here still talking about HOW AWFUL The Last Jedi was? Everyone else moved on.

 

TLJ haters are a vocal minority.

 

 

The first half of TLJ is HORRIBLE. Ryan's disrespect for Abram's film is insulting. His casual dismissal of the importance of the lightsaber was the first sign it was going to be amediocre film. I don't blame him for Mark Hamill's terrible performance. Thats all on Mark. But in fairness Ryan recovered in the 2nd half and ended boldly.  

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The problem is that Rian (and, to an extent, also Abrams in TFA) was so focused on putting his own artistic stamp on the movie, that he rather lost track of the fact that he was making the second movie in a trilogy.  

At any rate, Disney should have had a plan for the trilogy to actually work together.  

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36 minutes ago, John said:

I don't get this "TLJ was a big 'screw you' to Abrams" viewpoint

 

This. I'm not the biggest fan of the movie, but I'm perfectly happy giving it credit where credit is due.

 

I think people are under the impression that when a filmmaker is using his film to unpack a genre or a film series, it necessarily stems from the filmmaker's disdain for the genre/series. It doesn't.

 

26 minutes ago, Steve McQueen said:

The problem is that Rian[...]was so focused on putting his own artistic stamp on the movie, that he rather lost track of...

 

...making an immersive film, I would say. At some point, stylization starts to act as a buffer for the audience. Heck, it happens on Johnson's own Brick.

 

26 minutes ago, Steve McQueen said:

...he rather lost track of the fact that he was making the second movie in a trilogy.  At any rate, Disney should have had a plan for the trilogy to actually work together.  

 

That's not how trilogies are made.

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The way I see it, J.J. made No. 7, Johnson made No. 8, and Abrams will direct a fine end with 9.

 

I'm pretty sure the last lines of VIII were something like...

 

REY: How are we supposed to make Episode IX from this?

LEIA: We have everything we need.

 

...or something like that.

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33 minutes ago, John said:

 

I don't get this "TLJ was a big 'screw you' to Abrams" viewpoint. Abrams was executive producer of TLJ. It's not like Johnson took all the toys out of the sandbox and played with them by himself. Abrams, Kennedy, the execs at Lucasfilm; all of them were on board with Johnson's vision, or they would've ousted him like they did with Trevorrow.

 

 

Really? Hamill's performance and his character's arc was the best part of the movie, in my opinion.

You and are never agree so it should not come as a surprise. I understand that the incredible ending of TFA being completely undone by the beginning of TLJ doesn't matter to you and others but it is to me and others. The sad fact that few here understands how poor an actor Hamill is comes as no surprise. Its the Bryan Cranston effect. 

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I do find Johnson's use of bathos egregious in some spots, the one you speak about not being the least of which.

 

To speak to your issue with Hamil, its not the actor who determines the quality of a performance, its the director: its he who is tasked with "pulling" the right performance out of the actor. Under a director like George Lucas, Hamil was...serviceable. Under Irvin Kirshner he was much better, even though he spent most of the time talking to droids, puppets and a masked stand-in - not the most helpful environment.

 

I'd say he's very good in The Last Jedi, although I can't say the same for all the cast.

 

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I agree he was serviceable in Star Wars and better in ESB. He was dreadful in Jedi but Marquand was a bad director. Kersh is not a particularly great director but he was for that period in 79 & 80.  The Stars aligned.

 

Joe remembering the month that Hamill spent in a paperbag.

 

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On 9/20/2018 at 2:36 PM, Chen G. said:

To speak to your issue with Hamil, its not the actor who determines the quality of a performance, its the director: its he who is tasked with "pulling" the right performance out of the actor.

 

Eh, every interview I've ever read with some of the best directors of actors (e.g. Scorsese, PTA, Lumet, Allen) has suggested that directors who consistently get great performances are just generally more effective communicators and that the actor is way more often than not given a ton of breathing room to engage in their own process.

 

The idea that directors "pull" great performances out of actors is something I've seen directors say intimidated them when they started but quickly discovered that they didn't have to do as much as they feared. I think it's an example of auteur theory romanticizing the process.

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6 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

 

Eh, every interview I've ever read with some of the best directors of actors (e.g. Scorsese, PTA, Lumet, Allen) has suggested that directors who consistently get great performances are just generally more effective communicators and that the actor is way more often than not given a ton of breathing room to engage in their own process.

 

The idea that directors "pull" great performances out of actors is something I've seen directors say intimidated them when they started but quickly discovered that they didn't have to do as much as they feared. I think it's an example of auteur theory romanticizing the process.

It is my feeling that a director who has a vision that is both precise and alive can indeed bring out a performance from an actor that advances that vision for the film.

At the same time, this kind of a director can recognize the benefit of giving the actor space to create as well.

Directors don't so much pull, they shape.  Some can do more with what they have than others.

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That is true.  It is a two-way street, as they say.

Though, in theory, you could have a situation where a director produces a great film with lesser actors, or an actor carries the weight of what would otherwise be an uncertain film with his or her performance.

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2 hours ago, Steve McQueen said:

That is true.  It is a two-way street, as they say.

Though, in theory, you could have a situation where a director produces a great film with lesser actors, or an actor carries the weight of what would otherwise be an uncertain film with his or her performance.

 

The directors (and editors) are the ultimate gatekeepers, of course. 

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On 9/29/2018 at 2:07 AM, mrbellamy said:

Sure but the idea that actors aren't primarily responsible for the quality of their own performances is suspect.

 

They aren't.

 

Maybe "pulling" out of an actor isn't the right term. "Helping the actor pull a performance out of him or herself" may be closer to the truth. Its sorta like a coaching process. The director creates the environment, talks the actor through the scene (especially today where a lot of elements aren't there on-set), and makes the necessary room for either rehearsals and/or takes, and than the actor has the best possible environment to produce the best results.

 

E.g. Clint Eastwood consistently gets excellent performances from his cast, in spite of the fact that only does two takes per scene, because he does a lot of rehearsals. On the other end of the pendulum swing is someone like David Fincher who takes dozens upon dozens of takes on the day, to similar results.

 

The fact of the matter is that great actors paired with bad directors usually create bad to mediocre performances, and okay actors with great directors often excell. The director has the bigger role in making a performance good or bad, than the actor.

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30 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

The director has the bigger role in making a performance good or bad, than the actor.

 

This goes back to my gatekeeper comment. We only see what a director or editor allow us to: you could have Sir Patrick Stewart deliver the most gripping monologue ever penned for celluloid, but if the director days, "Get that Shakesperean crap out of here", or the editor decides to use a less impassioned take...well, we don't know that.

 

Stuff like this is why most actors prefer the stage, since the actors in most cases dictate what's going on by necessity--a director can't stop a live show, if they're even in the audience that night, to shut it down and make them adhere to a certain "vision".

22 minutes ago, Nick1066 said:

I thought most directors didn't spend a lot of time on rehearsal these days?

 

From all accounts I know and witness, this seems to be true.

5 minutes ago, Steve McQueen said:

I rather think two, maybe three takes are all that is really needed.  One should strive for a spontaneity that is in touch which the way things are.

 

I take it that's your own preference when making a production?

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6 minutes ago, Nick Parker said:

I take it that's your own preference when making a production?

Yes.  But the only things I've done so far have been small commercial projects, where the person I was working with wanted to get it right, and so insisted on multiple tries.

But, it was usually the second or third take that ended up being used.

 

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7 minutes ago, Steve McQueen said:

Yes.  But the only things I've done so far have been small commercial projects, where the person I was working with wanted to get it right, and so insisted on multiple tries.

But, it was usually the second or third take that ended up being used.

 

 

That's how I've been with music projects. The major exception I allow is if we're really experimenting with the different takes.

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The problem with Lucas a lot of times (especially Prequels) is that he was to quick to accept a shot. Johnson has some phenomenal camerawork and stellar consistent acting in TLJ. Howard also brings some nice takes with Solo. Abrams felt to Abrams-y, with all the quick zooms and glare, but still delivers. That's just on an acting/directing/filming/end product basis.

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1 hour ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

Abrams felt to Abrams-y, with all the quick zooms and glare, but still delivers.

 

False.

 

JJ Abrams movies are characterized (and in times plagued) by the camera being on steroids, constantly moving and/or cutting. So to see him deliver The Force Awakens in long takes was a real surprise, coming from him; and a real treat.

 

All the more impressive is that he doesn't overdo it. When you're going for long takes, its all-too-easy to make them too long, to the point that they start calling attention to themselves. That may be my main reason to leaning for this film over Johnson's: the camera doesn't call attention to itself. Abrams is confident and more established as a big-budget director, that he doesn't have to stand between me and the movie and say "look at me! I can direct a movie! Isn't it great?!"

 

1 hour ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

The problem with Lucas a lot of times (especially Prequels) is that he was to quick to accept a shot.

 

True, there are a lot of scenes where I felt like he was one take away from a much better cut of the scene. It should be said, his camerawork isn't terribly engaging, either. I was shocked by how little the camera moves in his films, how scarcely he pushes in for a close-up, and how high-key the lighting is in his films. That's partially why films like Empire Strikes Back and The Last Jedi feel so "different".

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