Like everybody else I saw the announcement earlier this week about new Star Wars films.
There have been so many of these announced, and then postponed or canceled, that I don’t really pay attention to them.
I’ve written about this before, but I remember being a kid, and hugely into Marvel Comics, which I read avidly from 1985–89 (age 11–15). By then, I became bored by the repeating storylines, not to mention to the pressure to purchase an ever-increasing number of books.
I absolutely love Andor, but I’m way past the point in my life where I get heavily invested in any of these ongoing franchises. (I’d love to tackle them as a creator, of course!)
Does it seem weird that there have been so many false starts making Star Wars films? I guess so...but DC has had an even harder time.
I imagine it’s way easier to oversee a comic book “franchise” than one for films and television—you’re just overseeing teams of writers and artists, not thousands of employees (from movie stars to VFX support staff), and with comics, it’s not like the whole world is watching (not to mention a giant corporation and its shareholders).
With films, you need a first-class filmmaker to execute a creative vision. Many don’t want to work for a franchise. Despite the massive budgets, there are still financial pressures. So there’s a big incentive to get an up-and-comer who would be cheaper—but up-and-comers have a way of being exposed as phonies (not naming names). Or they just might not work out, despite everybody’s best efforts. Then you have to reshoot half a movie.
On top of this, ideally the films should all connect into one overarching storyline.
Oh yeah, each film will cost nine figures to produce, and take two to three years.
So yeah...it must be really hard!
And then, don’t forget, you have a rabid fan base who want everything to be exactly the same, yet completely different. There’s more cultural pressure than ever for diversity both behind and in front of the camera—but a very vocal, conservative minority lurks on their shadowy keyboards, just waiting to crap on anything that’s different from 1977.