• Kathleen Kennedy to helm Lucasfilm as George Lucas phases out

      George Lucas intends to remain Lucasfilm's CEO and serve as co-chairman for at least a year, working alongside Kathleen Kennedy as she assumes her new role.


      Veteran Hollywood producer Kathleen Kennedy has been named co-chair of Lucasfilm Ltd., positioning her to succeed George Lucas atop the legendary San Francisco studio behind the"Star Wars" movies.

      The move is part of a leadership transition plan as founder George Lucas, who launched the company in 1971, prepares to retire.

      Lucas, 68, intends to remain chief executive and serve as co-chairman for at least one year, working alongside Kennedy as she assumes her new role.

      "I've spent my life building Lucasfilm, and as I shift my focus into other directions I wanted to make sure it was in the hands of someone equipped to carry my vision into the future," Lucas said in a statement. "It was important that my successor not only be someone with great creative passion and proven leadership abilities, but also someone who loves movies."

      Kennedy, 58, is a seven-time Academy Award nominee best known for her long partnership with Lucas' close friend and frequent collaborator Steven Spielberg.

      "Kathy has been a member of both of our families going into a fourth decade so it does not feel like she is going to another galaxy far, far away," Spielberg said in a statement. "She will get just as much support from me with Lucasfilm as George has given both of us all these years."

      In an interview, the producer said she had no hesitation about taking the job: "I thought it was an incredible opportunity for George to ask me to step into what has become such an incredible legacy that he has created over the years."

      Kennedy produced the "Indiana Jones," "Jurassic Park" and "Bourne" series, as well as Spielberg's recent films "War Horse" and "The Adventures of Tintin" and the upcoming biopic "Lincoln."

      One of the biggest challenges in her new role will be to figure out how to run a company that, like Walt Disney Co. and Apple Inc., is so closely identified with its founder.

      Although he has turned over daily operations to Chief Operating Officer Micheline Chau in recent years, Lucas has personally run the privately held company without assistance from experienced Hollywood hands.

      Kennedy said it was too early to say what changes she might bring to Lucasfilm or what types of movies the studio would make.

      "George and I have not had time to sit down and focus on the specifics," she said. "I'm certainly fortunate that he's not going anywhere."

      Lucasfilm does not have any new live-action feature films in production. The studio is working on a 3-D conversion of five "Star Wars" films, the "Star Wars Detours" TV series and an untitled animated movie.

      Lucasfilm's primary creative assets have been the hugely profitable "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" film and TV properties. In a rare effort to move beyond those franchises, the studio in February released the Lucas-directed "Red Tails," about a crew of African American pilots during World War II. The film had a soft landing, taking in less than $50 million at the domestic box office, but has been a top-selling DVD title.

      Along with film and television production, Kennedy will oversee Lucasfilm's visual effects firm Industrial Light & Magic; audio post-production company Skywalker Sound; video games publisher LucasArts; and an animation unit, which is producing "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," a computer-generated half-hour television series on the Cartoon Network.

      Also on Friday, the struggling LucasArts, which has not released a self-produced game in nearly two years, unveiled plans for a new title, "Star Wars 1313," set in the science-fiction universe's criminal underworld. It will be shown at the E3 industry conference next week but does not yet have a release date.

      Kennedy, who plans to commute between Los Angeles and San Francisco, will step down from her role at Kennedy/Marshall Co., shifting responsibilities to her partner and husband, Frank Marshall.

      "George and I have talked about the opportunities that lie ahead for the company, and as George moves toward retirement I am honored that he trusts me with taking care of the beloved film franchises," Kennedy said in a statement. "I feel fortunate to have George working by my side for the next year or two as I take on this role it is nice to have Yoda by your side."

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


      Comments 2 Comments
      1. bigbarada's Avatar
        bigbarada -
        Sounds like the 3D rereleases are still on schedule, but what's this "Star Wars Detours" TV series that the article mentions? Is that the live-action series that was supposedly shelved?

        Since Lucasfilm works directly with Hasbro, it will be interesting to see what, if any, long term effects this might have on the action figure line.
      1. Mr. JabbaJohnL's Avatar
        Mr. JabbaJohnL -
        "Detours" is the animated comedy series that Seth Green and Matthew Senreich are working on.

        I doubt this will have much effect on Hasbro; they're seemingly mixing things up enough all by themselves.

        I posted about it in the other GL retirement post, but I think Kathleen Kennedy is a great choice for this. I'm glad that Lucas will still be involved at least somewhat, and I'm interested in seeing how things progress from here.
    • Recent Forum Posts

      Bel-Cam Jos

      4:20? Try 11:38!

      Was at a racing event yesterday, and tried to get a 1138 somehow in the times on the clock: this was the closest (spoiler: no cigar).

      Bel-Cam Jos 2 Hours Ago Go to last post
      Bel-Cam Jos

      How did you spend your Saturday?

      The rain throughout the day had a minor effect on what was done (but it never poured, mostly sprinkling). Out for recycling (thankfully, a break in rain),

      Bel-Cam Jos 3 Hours Ago Go to last post
      Bel-Cam Jos

      Power Play! NHL 13-14 (and beyond?)

      PIT v. WAS is even at one a piece. If it goes 7, that will be an epic game. But I'm hoping it'll end in 6, so the Penguins' home fans can enjoy the handshake

      Bel-Cam Jos 3 Hours Ago Go to last post
      jkno

      Fan made replicas and helmets

      I know what you mean. Life-size statues and collectibles are always impressive in person. I used to have my SDS Stormie armor for 5 years already on

      jkno 9 Hours Ago Go to last post
      JediTricks

      The Force Awakens Micro Machines!!!

      Part 1 has a small mistake, the Gunship is from ROTJ. Also, and I know this is controversial for some folks, but I purchased SWMM and Star Trek MM 3 packs

      JediTricks 17 Hours Ago Go to last post
      Snowtrooper

      Fan made replicas and helmets

      Thats a pretty awesome thing to have sitting in your house. I absolutely love mine. Not to sound weird, but its fun just to sit and admire all the details

      Snowtrooper 19 Hours Ago Go to last post
      JediTricks

      Transformers: Energon & Beyond

      In discussing the high price to relatively underwhelming size of the Masterpiece Optimus Primal, I figured out what I had paid on all the Japanese Masterpieces

      JediTricks 20 Hours Ago Go to last post
      Bel-Cam Jos

      MLB 2016 - starting with winter trades!

      So now Pittsburgh is up to the 4th-best NL (and 6th-best in MLB) record. I heard they will play Miami in San Juan, PR later this year... and that the

      Bel-Cam Jos 22 Hours Ago Go to last post
      OC47151

      New Hallmark Ornaments for sale on Saturday

      It wouldn't surprise me, but i was thinking more of the desert scavenger vehicle or the epic snow speeder chase scene.

      OC47151 23 Hours Ago Go to last post
      jkno

      Fan made replicas and helmets

      RS Prop Masters Stormtrooper armor and helmet built for me by a good 501st friend:

      jkno 1 Day Ago Go to last post
    Single Sign On provided by vBSSO