With that monumental acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney last year the possibilities seem endless. Giving a franchise like Star Wars the added boost of the Disney juggernaught means we’ll be seeing new Star Wars material everywhere, all the time. Already we know new movies are in the works, with Episode VII set to release in 2015. Plus there’s the oncoming storm of merchandising and theme park tie-ins. What else could be down the line? Remember that long rumored live-action, Star Wars TV show? The one George Lucas and Rick McCallum claimed to have over 50 hours worth of scripts, then shelved the project due to their estimates it would cost about $5 million an episode to produce? Yeah, that one, which was tentatively titled Star Wars Underworld.
Well, Disney now sees an opportunity for this proposed live-action series and their network, ABC. Entertainment Weekly has the scoop that at the recent Television Critics Association press event, Paul Lee, president of ABC Entertainment, had this to say,
We’d love to do something with Lucasfilm, we’re not sure what yet. 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.
All right, so ABC seems open to the idea, but what about that staggering price tag per episode? Seems a good chunk of the estimated price was due to licensing, which a network would have had to pay Lucasfilm for the show. Not the case anymore with ABC being part of Disney who now own Lucasfilm. So the price has come down a little, and maybe it’s enough to actually see some forward momentum happen.
There’s also the consideration of becoming too over saturated with Star Wars? I know, some of us couldn’t ever imagine such a possibility, but you don’t want a TV show competing with the movies, and vice versa. Lee added,
It’s going to be very much up to the Lucasfilm brands how they want to play it. 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.
In addition to the news the Star Wars live-action show might not be as shelved and gathering dust as we thought, the EW article also as a little more info about its premise,
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.
What are you thinking? Are Disney, ABC, and Lucasfilm blowing more hot air or could this show really begin to take off? Is ABC the network you want to see something like this Star Wars live-action show on?