On Feb. 5, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger confirmed rumors that Disney is planning to make stand-alone “Star Wars” movies in addition to the new trilogy that begins with “Star Wars: Episode VII.” StarWars.com has officially announced at least two films are in development.
"There has been speculation about some stand-alone films that have been in development, and I can confirm to you today that in fact we are working on a few stand-alone films," Iger said on CNBC's "Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo." He appeared on the show to discuss the company’s quarterly earnings.
"Larry Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are both working on films derived from great 'Star Wars' characters that are not part of the overall saga," Iger added. "We still plan to make ‘Star Wars VII,’ ‘VIII’ and ‘IX’ roughly over a six-year period of time starting in 2015, but there are going to be a few other films released in that period of time, too."
Iger offered no other details about the films. That Kasdan and Kinberg would be involved in future “Star Wars” projects was first reported in November.
StarWars.com posted its own update. The site specified at least two spinoff films – each focusing on a specific character – are in development, with plans for their release after “Episode VII.”
“One of the standalone films will be written by Lawrence Kasdan, screenwriter of ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ and co-writer of ‘Return of the Jedi’ while the other will be penned by Simon Kinberg, writer of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith.’ The movies will be separate from the upcoming Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, on which Kasdan and Kinberg are also consulting, and are expected to be released sometime after Episode VII. Each standalone film will focus on a specific character, and two spinoff films are currently confirmed."
Both Iger’s statements and the StarWars.com announcement support earlier statements about plans for future “Star Wars” spinoffs. They also add fuel to recent rumor Disney intends to make a “Star Wars” movie focused on Yoda. The rumor, first posted by Ain’t It Cool News, also mentions possible Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt spinoffs. Vulture posted another rumor about a Jedi film loosely inspired by Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai.”
Update: On Wednesday, Entertainment Weekly reported it has learned details on two spin-off films. One will feature a young Han Solo and the other will offer a bounty hunter story focused on Boba Fett. Neither Disney nor Lucasfilm have confirmed this information as of this writing.
News of the stand-alone “Star Wars” films is just the latest indication Disney intends to aggressively develop new projects based on “Star Wars” and other Lucasfilm properties.