• ABC to look at 'Star Wars' live-action TV series

      ABC entertainment president Paul Lee says he’s going to take a look at the long-gestating Star Wars live-action TV series now that the Disney deal to acquire Lucasfilm is complete.


      “We’d love to do something with Lucasfilm, we’re not sure what yet,” Lee exclusively told EW. “We haven’t even sat down with them. We’re going to look at [the live-action series], we’re going to look at all of them, and see what’s right. We weren’t able to discuss this with them until [the acquisition] closed and it just closed. It’s definitely going to be part of the conversation.”

      Even many working in Hollywood don’t realize a live-action Star Wars TV series has been sitting on the shelf the past few years. The project was commissioned by longtime Lucasfilm producer Rick McCallum, who enlisted writers such as Battlestar Galactica‘s Ron Moore and swore them to NDA secrecy on the plot details (more on the show’s storyline below). Fifty scripts were written. McCallum once called the scripts the most “provocative, bold and daring material that we’ve ever done.”

      And then … nothing.

      The scripts gathered dust, the scope of the production and the extent of the show’s necessary visual effects deemed too expensive for a broadcast or cable network. The president of one premium cable outlet told me last summer the project just didn’t make any financial sense. The closest comparison was HBO’s lavish Game of Thrones. But that deal gave HBO control of a major chunk of the Thrones empire, including DVD and international distribution which significantly offset the show’s high production cost. The Star Wars show was budgeted at more than $5 million per episode and Lucasfilm wanted to retain ownership.

      But now Disney has purchased Lucasfilm for $4 billion and Disney owns more than a couple TV networks. The financials for a big-budget TV show are more compelling if the license fee and other income sources stay in the family. Already one Star Wars-related project is in the works for kids network Disney XD. Cartoon Network’s popular and innovative animated titleThe Clone Wars will likely shift to XD after its current deal expires. Could the live-action show finally see the light of day too? It’s a tricky question because a new Star Wars film is planned for 2015. Cautious brand managers are sometimes reluctant to have a live-action TV show on the air when producing live-action films — such as Warner Bros. putting the kibosh on any Batman TV projects while making Christopher Nolan’s trilogy.

      Lee said he wasn’t sure if the project was still viable. “It’s going to be very much up to the Lucasfilm brands how they want to play it,” he said. “We got to a point here with Marvel, a very special point, where we’re in the Marvel universe, and very relevantly so, but we’re not doingThe Avengers. But S.H.I.E.L.D. is part of The Avengers. So maybe something oblique is the way to [approach the Star Wars universe] rather than going straight head-on at it.”
      Sources say the live-action series centers on the story of rival families struggling over the control of the seedy underside of the Star Wars universe and the people who live within the subterranean level and air shafts of the metropolis planet Coruscant (the Empire’s urban-sprawl-covered home planet). A bounty hunter may be the main character. Set between the original Star Wars film trilogy and the prequels, the time period allows for all sorts of potential appearances from classic figures from the Star Wars universe.

      Extensive art work including character designs, costume designs, and set designs were all developed by a top team of concept artists and designers who worked for more than a year on the third floor design studio at George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch’s main house on the project. The team was closely supervised by McCallum and Lucas.

      If all this sounds vaguely familiar, it might be because this roughly matches the description of the upcoming Star Wars videogame 1313. In fact, sources say story materials and the designs for the TV project were used to help make the game. So if you want to see what the TV show was supposed to look like, check out art from 1313 (one example above). This creative strip-mining could arguably help the TV show’s chances — it’s not like Hollywood has been shy about doing crossovers between videogames and films before.

      Can you imagine that ultra-hypothetical ABC Sunday-night lineup? Once Upon a Time, Star Wars: 1313 and S.H.I.E.L.D?

      via EW.com
      Buy the hottest collectibles from: BigBadToyStore.com and BriansToys.com.


      Comments 2 Comments
      1. Mr. JabbaJohnL's Avatar
        Mr. JabbaJohnL -
        Even though this is all still hypothetical, I have to say this is really, really exciting. The fact that it's even a possibility or a consideration at this point is one of the many reasons why people should be totally pumped for the Disney-Lucasfilm purchase. Whether it's the already-written series or not, having a live-action Star Wars TV show on the same night as S.H.I.E.L.D. would be unbearably cool.
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        No way it's going to be that show, if it's $5 mil per episode there's no way any network is going to wring that much advertising coin out of a genre tv show on a per-episode basis. I think EW is going too far out on a limb with this claim.
    • Recent Forum Posts

      Mr. JabbaJohnL

      3 3/4" Black Series Wave 4: Dagobah Luke, Yoda, Snowtrooper, Toryn, Bastila, Dak

      Thankfully these figures are all coming two per case – EE also has them as a set. I already got Dak back when he was released in TVC (when he had a "c"

      Mr. JabbaJohnL 4 Hours Ago Go to last post
      Mr. JabbaJohnL

      The Black Series 6" Wave 4: Anakin, Clone Trooper, Boba Fett, Stormtrooper

      Entertainment Earth confirms that the wave 4 cases are different than previously planned. When the wave was first shown boxed, it included ROTS Anakin,

      Mr. JabbaJohnL 5 Hours Ago Go to last post
      Mr. JabbaJohnL

      E VII will take place 30 years after ROTJ

      The National posted photos of people rolling a giant gray object either into or out of a white tent in Abu Dhabi, which they claim is evidence that Episode

      Mr. JabbaJohnL 5 Hours Ago Go to last post
      OC47151

      World War II buffs....

      I'm attending a conference in New Orleans next month for work. Before I accepted to go (yes, I had a choice) I asked the boss if we had some free time

      OC47151 10 Hours Ago Go to last post
      TeeEye7

      World War II buffs....

      Indeed! Praise be to Al Gore!

      TeeEye7 14 Hours Ago Go to last post
      OC47151

      What have you watched recently?

      Patton 360 is good. My only complaint about the series was it rushed through late 1944 and the rest of the war too fast.

      The French gov't

      OC47151 20 Hours Ago Go to last post
      OC47151

      Survivor: Cagayan

      It was a good one. Tony is one paranoid dude. Working it way too hard. The lies will catch up with him.

      Next week looks good with Woo (Wooo!!)

      OC47151 20 Hours Ago Go to last post
      DarthQuack

      Survivor: Cagayan

      Fun episode tonight, loved Spencer's reaction at the end.

      DarthQuack 21 Hours Ago Go to last post
      Lord Malakite

      Cosmos (with N.d.G. Tyson)

      Not certain if it'll be back or not for a second season. From what I've read I've been getting the impression that this may have always been intended

      Lord Malakite 21 Hours Ago Go to last post
      Snowtrooper

      What have you watched recently?

      Well.......since you put it that way, then I guess Transformers is one of my favorite franchises as well. It seems like they've made a couple

      Snowtrooper 22 Hours Ago Go to last post
    Single Sign On provided by vBSSO