The company boss ended his appearance at an investor comment in New York with updates about the Star Wars universe. The entry by Benioff and Weiss was announced in February 2018, and last week Disney revealed 2022 as the target date for the next installment as part of a larger setting of overall release dates.
Iger also said another Star Wars streaming series would hit the Disney+ streaming service, joining The Mandalorian and an untitled prequel to Rogue One, before the 2022 release of the Benioff/Weiss feature. Despite no lack of creative material, the company determined that taking a break after the upcoming release of the concluding ninth installment would make sense, Iger said.
Reflecting on the run since the 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm, Iger noted that there have now been five Star Wars features released by Disney. “It’s our feeling that we’ve done a good job with those,” he said.
Nevertheless, as the company took stock of the franchise, especially with Disney+ ramping up toward a November launch, the management team felt “it would be smart for us to take a bit of a hiatus while we figure out what’s next,” Iger said. “The conclusion that we reached was that three years was the proper amount of time to not only take a breather and reset, but to really gear up for the next film’s release.”
It’s a time-tested interval. The first three Star Wars movies arrived in theaters in 1977, 1980 and 1983 and the second two trilogies also spaced accordingly. As Disney began to put more of its stamp on the franchise over this decade, it introduced the first spinoff films, Solo and Rogue One, to increase the frequency of Star Wars-related titles in theaters and keep fans engaged. In 2018, though, Solo proved a rare wake-up call. Creative differences resulted in the firing of its co-directors and ultimately the film drew mediocre reviews and did not make a profit.
Iger pre-emptively said he would not reveal any additional details about the new Benioff-Weiss iteration, which extends the story beyond the nine parts originally conceived of by George Lucas.