In 2019, Disney picked up the rights to Tomi Adeyemi’s YA book Children Of Blood And Bone, a fantasy story that had apparently made an impression on Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy and was set to become that studio’s first completely new thing—unrelated to Star Wars or Indiana Jones or any other George Lucas legacy properties—since getting acquired by Disney. That’s a big deal, since whatever happened with Children Of Blood And Bone would then speak to whatever Kennedy and Disney had in mind for Lucasfilm after the new Star Wars trilogy had ended.
Now, that’s exactly what’s happening… but not in the way anyone expected. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney and Lucasfilm allowed the rights to Children Of Blood And Bone to lapse after deciding to just focus on Star Wars—making it pretty clear that Disney’s plans for Lucasfilm involve making the same old stuff and that’s about it.
Part of the problem was apparently Adeyemi’s frustration over Lucasfilm’s refusal to let her write the adaptation, particularly as it became clear that the project was stalled. Late last year, though, the studio quietly gave up the rights to Paramount in a bidding war and now Adeyemi has both “creative influence” and will be writing the screenplay.
According to THR’s sources, Lucasfilm has “decidedly shifted away from developing projects that are new and is leaning even more toward those already under its umbrella.” That means more Star Wars, more Indiana Jones, and more stuff like the new Willow TV series, with no room for anything that’s not that. It makes sense from Disney’s perspective, since it probably doesn’t expect anything but superhero movies out of Marvel and therefore has no reason to expect anything but Star Wars out of Lucasfilm, but it does seem like a waste.
Disney’s handling of Star Wars hasn’t exactly been smooth, and that was the general consensus even before The Book Of Boba Fett’s ridiculous color-coded moped gang, but it’s not like there aren’t talented people at Lucasfilm. It’s a shame to know that those talents are never going to be used for anything that’s not Star Wars or Indiana Jones (or Radioland Murders or Strange Magic or whatever Lucasfilm deep-cut you prefer).
Then again, those Lucasfilm deep-cuts don’t inspire a ton of confidence in the studio’s name being put on anything that isn’t about lightsabers and fedoras, so maybe Disney knows what’s doing with the studio. It’s certainly never given any indication that that would be the case—again, those mopeds—but whatever. It was Mickey’s $4 billion, who are we to say what he does with what he bought?