After news of Willow's cancellation, a new rumor claimed that Disney has placed restrictions on Lucasfilm about the development of other projects.
Lucasfilm is best known for making and highlighting Star Wars content, but some may not be even aware that the studio is also responsible for introducing Willow and Indiana Jones.
The arrival of Disney+ allowed Lucasfilm to explore new content for its IPs, leading to Willow’s revival, a plethora of Star Wars shows, and a potential Indiana Jones spin-off.
Disney's Restrictions on Lucasfilm Revealed
Above The Line's Jeff Sneider claimed on The Hot Mic podcast that the Ravenwood Indiana Jones spin-off show on Disney+ is "dead," before saying that Disney isn't allowing Lucasfilm to make projects other than Star Wars "from now on."
This rumor comes after Disney+ cancelled Willow after only one season, which was a decision made two months after the show's eight-episode run. Despite being cancelled, there is still a chance that the show could be explored again, considering that it remains one of Lucasfilm's most important IPs.
As reported by The Wrap, the Indiana Jones prequel spin-off show from Disney+ was supposed to revolve around a young Abner Ravenwood, Marion Ravenwood's father who is a much-talked-about character in the Indiana Jones franchise but has yet to appear.
The Wrap also shared the spin-off series' first plot details, with it revolving around Abner mentoring a group of young archeologists. It was also reported that "some of the creative heavyweights" behind Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will "most likely return" for the spin-off.
Last year, Lucasfilm lost the rights to Children of Blood and Bone to Paramount, which strongly indicated that the studio’s main focus is on the galaxy far, far, away.
The Hollywood Reporter (THR) shared that Lucasfilm let development “languish” for Children of Blood and Bone as it turned its focus to its Star Wars series slate on Disney+.
After the 2020 Disney Investor Day presentation, Tomi Adeyemi, the novel’s author, “grew disenchanted” with the development of the project, leading to him pushing for a “stronger voice” at the creative table. The riff between the two sides ultimately led to Paramount winning the rights to the adaptation and Adeyemi having creative influence and the right to serve as its screenwriter.
THR also noted then that Lucasfilm was shifting away from developing projects that are new and instead leaning toward those under its umbrella, such as Willow, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones 5.
Why Disney’s Rumored New Lucasfilm Mandate Is Unsurprising
If the rumor is true, it is unfortunate that the planned Indiana Jones spin-off show about Abner Ravenwood will not move forward anymore.
The cancellation essentially prevented the further expansion of the Indiana Jones lore.
More so, this update could also mean that potential new projects under the Indiana Jones banner would be put on hold, including a sixth film and more spin-offs set in that universe.
It's also possible that the mandate was implemented due to financial reasons, especially after Disney confirmed that Dial of Destiny had a record-breaking budget of $294.7 million which makes it Lucasfilm's most expensive movie ever.
From Willow Season 2's cancellation to the Blood and Bone situation, it adds further credence that Lucasfilm is prioritizing Star Wars as its main content. This isn’t surprising. mainly because the galactic franchise is the studio’s most popular IP.
For now, fans can catch another glimpse at Harrison Ford’s iconic archeologist when Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny premieres in theaters on June 30.