After several series drawn from the Star Wars universe for its streaming platform, Disney promises three new films anchored in a distant galaxy, recalling in passing Rey, the heroine of the last trilogy completed in 2019.
Each of these films has been entrusted to different directors and will take place in a distinct period, said Friday Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, the studio acquired by Disney in 2012, during a convention in London, the "Star Wars Celebration".
One of them will be set 15 years after the final episode of the last trilogy (The Rise of Skywalker) and will be worn by Daisy Ridley, the British actress taking over the role of Rey to rebuild the order of the Jedi.
Its director, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Miss Marvel), Oscar winner twice for documentaries (short category) denouncing violence against women, will become the first woman at the helm of a film in the legendary franchise, since its creation by George Lucas in 1977.
That status was supposed to go to Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins, but her Rogue Squadron movie, announced in 2020 for 2023 by Disney, appears to have been shelved, as Variety magazine reported in March.
On stage, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy was delighted to be able to immerse herself in a "school of Jedis", she who has spent "a good part of (her) life meeting real heroes who triumph over repressive regimes and overcome extraordinary obstacles. It's the heart of Star Wars," said the Pakistani-born director.
Already at the helm of Indiana Jones' fifth opus, expected in theaters at the end of June, director James Mangold will retrace the appearance of the Jedis, 25,000 years before the first intrigues of the saga already brought to the screen.
Finally, Dave Filoni (The Mandalorian, Ahsoka), a regular in the lucrative franchise, "will orchestrate the escalation of the war between the remnants of the Empire and the fledgling New Republic", according to Kathleen Kennedy, who promises "good more "announcements" in the coming months.
Those of Friday were in any case greeted by cries of joy from some 5,000 fans, deprived of a film from their favorite saga in theaters since 2019, even if they will have to wait until 2025 at best.
Disney bought Lucasfilm and its franchise for $4 billion in 2012 and immediately began production on a new trilogy and spin-off films Solo and Rogue One, before curbing its big-screen ambitions.
The entertainment giant's decision to focus more on TV series was linked in particular to a decrease in revenue from cinemas, rather average reviews for the latest feature films and, above all, the launch at the end of 2019 of its streaming offer. , Disney .
But here too, Disney, in search of profitability for its platform, could slow down the pace. Disney has nearly 162 million subscribers worldwide, after losing 2.4 million in the last three months of 2022, a first since its launch in 2019.
If no new series was announced on Friday, fans were however able to discover the first images of the many productions expected soon. Actress Rosario Dawson notably came to present Ahsoka, announced for the month of August and spin-off of the hit series The Mandalorian.
Similarly, Jude Law gave a tantalizing glimpse of Skeleton Crew, also slated for this year, where he plays a Jedi dragging four wayward children into a strange and dangerous galaxy.
Also on the program, The Acolyte, a space investigation with a very feminine cast, developed by the creator of Russian Doll (Netflix), Leslye Headland, or even season 2 of the acclaimed Andor.
In a completely different register, fans were also treated to an extract from Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, in the presence of Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Mads Mikkelsen, before its screening at the Cannes Film Festival.
The 15th edition of the "Star Wars Celebration" is expected to welcome 60,000 visitors to London until Monday. This is the first time it has been held in Europe since 2016.