Obi-Wan gets his own movie

LOS ANGELES • Walt Disney Co is developing a standalone Star Wars movie based on the beloved character of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the wise and noble Jedi master, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported on Thursday.

The Hollywood trade publications cited unnamed sources as saying the project was in the early stages of development by Disney and Lucasfilm.

The project has no script yet, but Oscar-nominated British film-maker Stephen Daldry is in early talks to direct it, the publications said.

Daldry, whose Academy Award nominations were for the movies Billy Elliott (2000), The Hours (2002) and The Reader (2008), is up for an Emmy this year for directing the hit Netflix period drama The Crown.

Disney declined to comment.

It bought Star Wars creator George Lucas' Lucasfilm in 2012 in a US$4-billion deal and announced a new trilogy rebooting the space saga, as well as three standalone projects that focus on stories outside the central Skywalker family.

Disney debuted the first standalone Star Wars story last year with Rogue One, which featured new characters and a storyline tied loosely to the main saga.

A Han Solo movie is in production, featuring a younger version of the freewheeling space smuggler played by Harrison Ford in the original trilogy.

Kenobi, a recluse first played by the late British actor Alec Guinness, was the mentor to Luke Skywalker and introduced the young warrior to the Force in the first Star Wars movie in 1977.

Kenobi was later killed by his former pupil, the evil Darth Vader.

Ewan McGregor played the character in the second trilogy of Star Wars films from 1999 to 2005. The Hollywood Reporter said no actor was attached to the standalone project.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disney's first instalment of the new trilogy, brought back beloved characters Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo while introducing a new generation.

It took in more than US$2 billion at the worldwide box office after its 2015 release.

The next film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is scheduled for release in December.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2017, with the headline 'Obi-Wan gets his own movie'. Print Edition | Subscribe