Disney Chief to Fans: Rogue One Success Won’t Match Episode VII
When “The Force Awakens” brought Star Wars back to the big screen in 2015, the planet erupted and the movie’s box office gross broke the $2 billion mark worldwide. Now, another Star Wars movie is set to debut in December of this year, but Disney is already trying to lower expectations. Variety reports that Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger discussed the new entry in the franchise at a Goldman Sachs conference on Wednesday, telling investors that “We never felt it would do the level that Force Awakens did.”
The new film, which focuses on the group that steals the Death Star plans at the heart of the 1977 original, has had a tough go of it in the last few months. With the film undergoing extensive re-shoots this summer — and filmmaker Tony Gilroy reportedly stepping in to lend a hand — many have taken the changes as a sign that Disney was unhappy with the dour tone, and hoped to lighten the film up a bit. (Screenwriter Gary Whitta, who wrote the first draft of Rogue One, has called the insinuations “bulls**t”.)
Rogue One is the first time a Star Wars live-action movie has stepped outside the confines of the Skywalker saga. But Disney clearly sees both Rogue One and its upcoming Han Solo spin-off — each of which are being branded as “A Star Wars Story” — as key to moving forward with the franchise.
The movie will debut December 16th.