Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy made the announcement that Jenkins would be the first woman to direct a “Star Wars” film at The Walt Disney Company’s Investor Day 2020 Thursday.
Few details for the new film were made available beyond the release date, Christmas 2023. But Jenkins, the daughter of an Air Force pilot, vowed to make the “greatest fighter pilot movie of all time” in a clip shared on Twitter where she was seen boarding an X-wing fighter.
“The Legend of Rogue Squadron” has been “long beloved by ‘Star Wars’ fans,” Kennedy said in the presentation, promising to move the franchise to “a future era of the galaxy.”
Disney revealed during the investor presentation it will launch 10 “Star Wars” series on Disney+, as well as 10 Marvel series on the streaming service.
Chris Evans heads to Pixar’s ‘Lightyear’
In Pixar news, Pete Docter, chief creative officer, announced “Lightyear,” the “definitive” origin story for the beloved Buzz Lightyear from “Toy Story” (to date voiced by Tim Allen).
Docter vowed the film would be “an action film” unlike anything done by Pixar studios in the past, promising “a new twist to an iconic character.”
The new Buzz Lightyear will be voiced by Captain America, Chris Evans. The film will come to theaters summer 2022.
“I don’t even have words,” Evans wrote on Twitter, in reaction to the news.
Tom Hanks is heading to ‘Pinocchio’
In other film news, Disney confirmed reports that Tom Hanks will star as Geppetto in a live-action remake of “Pinocchio” for Disney+.
The project would reunite director Robert Zemeckis and Hanks. The two have previously worked together on 1994’s “Forrest Gump,” 2000’s “Cast Away” and 2004’s “The Polar Express.”
Sean Bailey, president of film production for Disney, said the film will incorporate “state of the art CGI.”
‘Raya’ will hit Disney+ and theaters at the same time
Disney Animation Studios announced it will release “Raya and the Last Dragon” on Disney+ – with a premier access charge – the same day it arrives in theaters in March.
The move follows Warner Bros. studios’ Dec. 3 announcement that its entire slate of 2021 movies would stream on HBO Max simultaneous to the theatrical release. On Thursday, there was significant attention on Walt Disney Studios to see how the film giant would handle a possible shift oftheatrical releases to Disney+.
Disney released “Mulan” on Disney+ with a premier access fee after the action film’s theatrical release was delayed repeatedly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But “Raya” was the main film to make the move to Disney+in a simultaneous release at Thursday’s investors meeting. The animated film features Kelly Marie Tran as the voice of Raya and Awkwafina as a dragon Sisu.
Disney had already placed Pixar’s “Soul,” on Disney+ for a Dec. 25 release due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite rumors that Marvel’s “Black Widow” would be headed to Disney+ next year, Marvel president Kevin Feige confirmed that the long-delayed Avengers prequel starring Scarlett Johansson would be released in theaters on May 7, 2021.
The streaming service will still see a boon of new films.Disney CEO Bob Chapek said during the investors meeting that, of 100 movie titles planned, 80% are going straight to Disney+ or Hulu. But “for us it’s about balance,” he said.