Bob Iger Discusses 'Star Wars', James Gunn and Roseanne, and Marvelby ZachPerilstein
Bob Iger recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar's culture change, and many more subjects.
Bob Iger was pressed on the James Gunn and Roseanne situations:
How involved do you get in decisions to cancel Roseanne at ABC or fire James Gunn at Marvel?
I would say there is a blend of my helping to make the decision to my supporting the decisions that have been made. Roseanne was completely unanimous. We discussed how it would be communicated and when because there were a number of entities that had to be properly filled in, but the decision was completely unanimous. The James Gunn decision was brought to me as a unanimous decision of a variety of executives at the studio and I supported it.
There was backlash. You still support it?
I haven't second-guessed their decision. Iger's answers are definitely interesting. He seems sure of the Roseanne decision but the James Gunn situation doesn't sound as confident. Which is funny considering this is the first time he's addressing the issue. He hasn't second-guessed the decision. Yet one of Disney's billion-dollar franchises is without a key director. It looks like Gunn is about to get a ton of money from the Mouse, and a new gig at Warner Bros.
Then came the question of John Lasseter. Discussing if Pixar has had a culture change since his exit:
Has the culture at Pixar changed at all in the past eight months since the exit of John Lasseter?
Any time that you change leadership there is an inevitable cultural shift. There was a cultural shift at Disney when I took over for Michel Eisner after 21 years. John Lasseter was in his role for a long time, had an enormous influence on both the culture and the creativity of Pixar, and so of course in John leaving there is inevitable and was an inevitable cultural shift. To get into the details, I'd prefer not to.
I like the name-drop of Michael Eisner. I thought this answer would've included praise for Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter.
Iger was then pressed on what's going to happen to Marvel after the Fox acquisition is complete:
How is Marvel going to absorb Fox’s X-Men franchise? Is Kevin Feige going to oversee everything? I think it only makes sense. I want to be careful here because of what's been communicated to the Fox folks, but I think they know. It only makes sense for Marvel to be supervised by one entity. There shouldn't be two Marvels.
So Deadpool could become an Avenger?
Kevin's got a lot of ideas. I'm not suggesting that's one of them. But who knows?
The key takeaways from his statement on Marvel. Is that there should only be one Marvel entity. Meaning that we won't have two universes. This also confirms that the X-Men and Deadpool will eventually be in the MCU. Although this means there won't be an R-rated MCU banner. Deadpool should be an easy character to integrate into the MCU, and him joining the new Avengers team post-Avengers 4 could be something. A team that features Deadpool, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, and the duo of Ant-Man and the Wasp could be something.
The focus shifted toward Star Wars. Which in my honest opinion could be a whole feature for THR. There is so much about the future of Star Wars that is unknown. Iger shed some light on the current state of Star Wars.
Many believe Disney should pump the breaks and not put out a Star Wars movie each year.
I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made — I take the blame — was a little too much, too fast. You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn't mean we're not going to make films. J.J. [Abrams] is busy making [Episode] IX. We have creative entities, including [Game of Thrones creators David] Benioff and [D.B.] Weiss, who are developing sagas of their own, which we haven't been specific about. And we are just at the point where we're going to start making decisions about what comes next after J.J.'s. But I think we're going to be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that.
So after Episode IX, there will be more strategy for when the next Star Wars films come out. So Disney can avoid another Solo.
Bob Iger seems optimistic about his company.