ABC Eyes Star Wars TV Series
Conversation with Lucasfilm imminent
With its SHIELD series underway, US TV network ABC already has a strong relationship with the Marvel part of Disney. Now it sounds as if they'll also be looking to the newly-acquired Lucasfilm arm, with talk of ABC taking on the challenge of the long-developing live-action Star Wars TV series.
"It's definitely going to be part of the conversation," ABC president Paul Lee tells EW. "We'd love to do something with Lucasfilm, although we're not sure what yet."
By Lee's own admission, there's possibly no story here at all: no talks have yet taken place, since none could until the Disney/Lucasfilm merger was complete. But wheels are clearly turning and gears grinding at ABC, as the company considers what form that incoming conversation might take.
"It's going to be very much up to Lucasfilm how they want to play it," Lee explains. "We got to a very special point with Marvel, where we're in the Marvel universe and very relevantly so. We're not doing The Avengers, but SHIELD is part of The Avengers." He suggests that kind of "oblique" approach may be the way forward with Star Wars, "rather than going straight head-on at it."
Last we heard, budgetary concerns were keeping the Star Wars series off the small screen, although significant development had taken place. Producer Rick McCallum was, a year ago, talking about a tentatively-titled Star Wars: Underworld, which he said would "take place between Episodes III and IV."
"It's that twenty-year period when Luke is growing up," McCallum elaborated. "It's not about Luke, but it's about that period when the Empire is really trying to take things forward. It's underneath what's going on: the criminals and the gangs that are running everything. It's like Wall Street, and the criminals that are running the United States!"
Whether that plan and the work that went with it remains in contention is unclear: whoever takes up the Star Wars TV gauntlet may want to start again from scratch, and Disney may have their own ideas. Would something as seemingly dark and seedy as the Underworld concept really fly? Or will Star Wars' new gatekeepers perfer to take the path of, say, a Rogue Squadron or a Jedi Academy? More questions than answers at the moment then, but as always, we'll keep you posted. And as for Star Wars VII, make sure you keep an eye on our Star Wars Directors Rumour Control.