Great news today coming via a report from The Hollywood Reporter: Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has signed a three-year extension to keep her running the company through at least 2021!
Kennedy has done an unquestionably great job as the hand-picked successor to George Lucas, taking over the company amidst Disney’s acquisition of the company for $4 billion and has pioneered four feature films – which have grossed over $4.5 billion total. The Force Awakens earned over $2 billion in box office revenue and currently is the third-highest grossing movie of all-time; The Last Jedi earned over $1.3 billion in box office revenue and currently is the eleventh-highest grossing movie of all-time (it peaked at number nine); and Rogue One also earned over $1 billion at the box office, sitting as the 27th-highest grossing movie ever (and peaking at number 20). Solo underperformed at the box office, but it was well-received critically and exceeded expectations in that regard.
And all of that is in addition to the money Lucasfilm brings in from TV shows, books, toys, and other merchandise. In other words: Kathy Kennedy has more than made up for Disney’s investment in the company and is taking Lucasfilm to new heights. It’s a no-brainer decision to extend her deal.
Looking to the future, things will look a little different for Lucasfilm, but they’ll still have plenty of content. Star Wars: Episode IX will hit theaters in December 2019, but after that the company will move away from the main saga and explore new stories. That includes Rian Johnson’s new trilogy of films, the movies from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and potentially unannounced standalone films. Plus, at least three TV shows are in the works: Star Wars: Resistance, a return of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the live-action show helmed by Jon Favreau. With those mediums, added with books and comics (which have been putting out a ton of great storytelling, too), Star Wars will continue to explore this galaxy far, far away. Additionally, Kennedy will be guiding the company through the fifth Indiana Jones film, which is scheduled to hit theaters in July 2021 and will see Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford return to the iconic franchise.
So, yes, Kathy Kennedy is doing a fantastic job and will continue to do so.
Kennedy, 65, is one of the most accomplished filmmakers in history. Her total box office gross is third-most all-time, behind only Marvel head Kevin Feige and director Steven Spielberg (with whom Kennedy has worked often). Her numerous successful film credits include work on the Star Wars (producer on The Force Awakens, Rogue One, The Last Jedi, and Solo: A Star Wars Story), Indiana Jones (associate to Spielberg on Raiders of the Lost Arc, associate producer on Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade, and executive producer on Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), and Jurassic Park (producer or executive producer on Jurassic Park, The Lost World, and Jurassic Park III) franchises, as well as producing films such as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Back to the Future, Schindler’s List, Lincoln, and others. For her success, she will be honored(along with her husband and producing partner, Frank Marshall) with the Irving G. Thalberg Award by the Academy, which is given to filmmakers “whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production.” Kennedy is the first woman to receive the award.
There is little doubt that she knows how to make excellent movies, and that’s why it’s such good news that she’ll continue to lead Lucasfilm moving forward.