Star Wars lead producer Kathleen Kennedy will be heading up the franchise well into the future. The architect of the universe who has led it since the Disney buyout has signed a deal to stay on for three more years, through 2021, per the Hollywood Reporter.
Kennedy joined Lucasfilm in 2012 as co-chair alongside George Lucas, and months later became his successor when he sold the rights to Disney. The $4 billion acquisition was massive, but the bet has already paid off. The four Star Wars films have already grossed more than $4.5 billion, not even including additional profits from merchandising.
As the head of the studio, though, she has also been subject to criticism. Solo: A Star Wars Story brought in a disappointing $392 million, which is estimated to have been a loss. Disney CEO Bob Iger recently commented that the Star Wars movies may have been “too much, too fast” and created franchise fatigue. He didn’t show any sign of wavering confidence in Kennedy, though, as he took responsibility for the decisions on timing.
Currently Kennedy is producing the untitled Episode IX. That’s reportedly the last planned chapter, while separate projects are coming from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss of Game of Thrones, and an entirely separate trilogy from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson. Meanwhile, the Star Wars universe is expanding more and more into the small screen, with planned projects from Jon Favreau and the upcoming Star Wars: Resistance.