Even though Disney has only released one new Star Wars movie since buying Lucasfilm in 2012, they have much bigger plans for this galaxy far far away. As of right now Disney has Star Wars movies planned through 2020, but their plans extend far beyond that. According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, they have already started making plans that extend far beyond Episode IX.
Bob Iger recently spoke at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference and naturally, the subject of Star Wars came up. According to The Wrap, the studio has just started mapping out their plans for 2021 and beyond, with Bob Iger saying that Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy is developing an entire Star Wars universe. Here is what he had to say.
"I had a meeting yesterday with Kathy Kennedy and we mapped out - well, we reviewed - the 'Star Wars' plans that we have 'til 2020. We have movies in development for 'Star Wars' 'til then, and we started talking about what we're going to do in 2021 and beyond. So, she's not just making a Star Wars' movie, she's making a 'Star Wars' universe, of sorts."
Disney paid more than $4 billion for Lucasfilm in 2012 and they already made more than $2 billion from the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. So by the time Star Wars Episode IX and a few spinoff movies have been released come 2020, they will have more than made their investment back. But it seems like Disney is planning on milking the Star Wars cow for all it is worth, which makes total sense. Assuming they can keep the quality at a certain level, it is essentially a license to print money for the foreseeable future.
The studio is having unprecedented success at the box office over the past couple of years, much of that thanks to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But they have made bank for the better part of a decade on the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. That being the case, Bob Iger also made it clear that Disney has zero plans to stop cranking out Marvel movies, which they also have planned out through 2020 or so at the moment. Here is what Iger had to say about Disney's future plans for the MCU.
"We had a similar meeting with Marvel a week-and-a-half ago to plot [those films] out, where we've got movies in either development or production - some nearing completion - through the end of this decade. [There], we too are beginning to talk about what do we do the next decade, and so on?"
Next up for Disney on the Marvel side of things is Doctor Strange, which is slated to hit theaters on November 4 and will introduce a brand new hero into the MCU. As for Star Wars, the first spinoff movie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is going to arrive in theaters on December 16. Bob Iger also stated that they don't expect Rogue One to match the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but even with managed expectations, the movie should make bank and justify the Disney's lofty plans for the franchise.