Well, if there’s one thing we can say about the entertainment industry this week, it has certainly dominated the news cycle, and not always in a good way. Probably the most dominant announcement (at least from the side of actual content releases) was Disney’s wild news about the Star Wars franchise. If you thought things were slowing down as we approach the second film in the third Skywalker trilogy, then you don’t know Disney.
The company announced Thursday that Star Wars: Episode VIII –The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is apparently the man. More specifically, that Johnson has been given the keys to helm his own entirely new trilogy of Star Wars films to add to the ever-sprawling franchise. Whatever that may mean for the franchise — and whether you think it waters things down, or heats things up — one thing is for sure: Disney execs really like the new movie, set to debut December 15. We haven’t seen this kind of faith in a director/producer since J.J. Abrams was given the green light to start things up again with Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
Just what Johnson’s new trilogy — the fourth trilogy in franchise history for those keeping count — will be about is almost a complete mystery at this point. What we do know is that, unlike the rest of the canon films, it won’t focus around the Skywalker family and their absolute Jedi-fueled universal mayhem. Perhaps that’s for the best, honestly. I mean, how much damage to the galaxy can one family do? In any event, it’s believed the trilogy will explore some new corner of the Star Wars universe, creating all-new characters, and perhaps an entire new blueprint for the franchise going forward.
In addition to that news, we also learned that Disney is creating a live-action Star Wars television series, apparently to help prop up the company’s plans for a new streaming service (or services) coming in 2019. And speaking of Disney streaming, the company also announced Netflix will not be getting any new Marvel television shows once its new streaming empire is up and running. So yeah, there’s a lot going on in Disneyland, so to speak.
But it’s far from all Disney this week. There’s so much to cover, we’ll have a hard time staying on task, let alone running long. We’ll also be going over the weekend box office to get you prepped for date night if that’s your thing, though we have to say that Thor: Ragnarok, which is already dominating the box office and doesn’t show any signs of slowing, is still our favorite pick this weekend — even if you’ve already seen it. In fact, this podcaster is going again tonight. If that’s not your thing, though, there’s plenty more to check out, including the latest star-studded remake of Murder On the Orient Express, the apparently brilliant (and extremely well-reviewed) Frances McDormand film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and an intriguing new arthouse thriller about the supernatural, Thelma.
And frankly, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s to come. We’ll also be discussing Universal’s decision to put its Monster Universe on hold, Dwayne Johnson’s rumored Suicide Squad 2 appearance, multiple other superhero franchises springing up, Steven Soderbergh’s app-based choose-your-own-adventure series, and, in brief, the dramatic and sudden fall from grace of some of our favorite stars.
We’ll be digging into all that and more this week. So tune in and hit us up live at 2 p.m. PT today, or take us along for the ride with our podcast version by following the links at the top.