Rumor Has It Lucasfilm Has Secretly Hired Women and People of Color for ‘Star Wars’
While many fans were thrilled with yesterday’s news that Lucasfilm had hired Game of Thrones duo David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to develop a new series of Star Wars movies, just as many were frustrated by it. Despite employing several women in key creative and executive roles, the studio, under president Kathleen Kennedy, has yet to hire a single woman or person of color to direct a Star Wars movie. Not one. According to a wacky new rumor, that’s not exactly true.
The Tracking Board’s Jeff Sneider, who is usually fairly reliable when it comes to scoops, says that Lucasfilm has “secretly” hired at least one woman and one person of color to write and / or direct upcoming Star Wars live-action projects. Although Sneider hasn’t confirmed any names, he says he’s “heard [Ava] DuVernay’s name rumored for Star Wars for years, ever since The Force Awakens premiere.” He also puts forth Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, and while much of this speculation, it’s rooted in some truths:
Now, I have no idea who these mystery hires could be, but obviously, Disney is about to release Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther and Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time, and it’s entirely possible that, if one of them has been hired for Star Wars, the studio wouldn’t want journalists asking about a galaxy far, far away instead of the big-budget movies that both are promoting.
The truth is, I’ve heard DuVernay’s name rumored for Star Wars for years, ever since The Force Awakens premiere — a mere two months before she was hired to direct A Wrinkle in Time. At the time, I’d heard that Wrinkle would serve as a test-run of sorts, to prove she could handle a nine-figure budget and deliver a box office hit. I’m not saying she’s the most likely candidate, just pointing out that she’s already in business with the studio on a tentpole film, and Disney likes to hire people they’ve worked with before.
Most notably, that Disney likes working with directors they’ve worked with in the past; not just any directors, of course, but those who have already helmed successful films for the studio. Based on the way Lucasfilm likes to roll out announcements and releases, it would make sense for them to hold back on revealing these rumored “secret hires” for the time being. As Sneider notes, DuVernay and Coogler are both releasing major films for Disney in the coming months (A Wrinkle in Time and Black Panther), and they want to keep the press focused on those movies — not Star Wars.
Then again, with all the flack they’ve received for strictly hiring white men (even the guys they bring in for reshoots are white, and when they fire a white male director, they replace him with another white male director), you’d think Lucasfilm would want this information out there as soon as possible. Keeping these hires a secret — if that is the case — sends a bad message.
Every Official Star Wars Poster Ever Released: