Disney chairman Bob Iger made an appearance at Variety magazine’s Dealmakers Breakfast on Wednesday the 10th, and he says the new Star Wars productions will be integrated into the company’s theme parks.
New attractions will be based on the new fims, beginning with Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which lands in theaters in December 2015. “There will be a much larger Star Wars presence in our parks globally,” Iger said. “But we want to do this big, which takes time, and to do it right.” Iger says early plans at Walt Disney Imagineering focused on the original six films, but he didn’t want theme park guests to be disappointed if they came to the attraction hoping to see something connected with the new film. “I didn’t want someone to say, ‘I just saw the movie and there’s nothing in that movie in this (attraction),” Iger said. “We waited to see what this film would have in it.”
Iger slowed development at Imagineering until they could get designs for The Force Awakens from J.J. Abrams. He’s also hoping to include designs from future films. “We couldn’t tell them what was new,” Iger said, until Abrams was further into production. “I slowed it all down so what we come forward with will have a blend of the past, present and maybe the future,” referencing upcoming sequels and spinoff films. “Now we have a sense of what’s in Star Wars VIII, and what some of the standalone films will have in them.”
“I keep telling J.J. Abrams this is a $4 billion movie,” Iger said. “We need to treat this very special. It’s an unbelievable privilege and unbelievable responsibility to take a jewel and treat it in a way that is respectful of its past but brings it into the future.”
Iger noted how Abrams is using more physical sets and props, rather than computer-generated imagery. “That will give the film a look that will be extremely respectful of the look George (Lucas) created in the ’70s,” Iger said, “and will play well with ardent Star Wars fans and play well with audiences today.” Iger also commented on the “sameness” of modern CGI, reducing the “wow” factor of today’s filmmaking, and that Abrams “decided to create the physical wow factor.”
The original six films are already featured in “Star Tours”, and Iger has said before that Star Wars would have a “significant presence” at the Disney resort locations. “Why not? We bought the thing. We can do that now.”