One Prequel Basher Replaced With Another

Late comes the news that Gary Whitta’s replacement Chris Weitz on the first spinoff script has his own social media skeletons on prequel bashing. So far, what’s surfaced is some TPM bashing (images via Furious Fanboys):

These tweets are from four years ago but unless he experienced some road to Damascus moment, one must assume his crappy attitude remains the same. I give credit to Making Star Wars and to Furious Fanboys for even mentioning these tweets because a lot of other fan sites will probably not report them just as most of those sites didn’t talk about Whitta the last time.

But if you’re expecting some bloodless “oh well” from me, you’ve come to the wrong site, buster. While Weitz’s comments aren’t quite as inflammatory as Whitta’s, this is just the first batch of what’s been found. More might surface. But it goes to show you the hypocrisy and double standards of fandom and Disneyfilm. What if Weitz (or Whitta for that matter) had tweeted he hated the Most Holy and Sacred TESB? Everybody would be calling for his immediate firing. Ditto if Weitz had tweeted he didn’t like Star Wars at all. (Before you say they’d never hire someone who wasn’t a Star Wars fan, remember JJ Abrams directed two Star Trek films even though he admitted he wasn’t a fan.) Some people would do a Star Wars movie just for the bread and the chicks, baby.

But when it comes to the prequels, it’s hunky dory if you flat out hate them. That’s bull and I, as someone who has faithfully defended these films for 16 years, take it as yet another betrayal from the powers that be. Disneyfilm, stop punching us prequel fans in the face and telling us you love us! If you did, you’d CARE there were people working on your projects who HATE what George Lucas did!

And I don’t accept at all that there are no filmmakers who don’t virulently hate the prequels. I shouldn’t have to wait until I’m 76 years old to finally hear a screenwriter say, “Eh, I thought the prequels were awright.” If I even make it that long!

Let me tell you something, Weitz. You can stick that Oscar in your ear because I’ll take a REAL Star Wars movie from George Lucas over the fake corporate-created karaoke that you’re reworking from another hack.

And I am NOT paying to see this movie. I will not support it or promote it in any way. No toys or other goodies will be bought. I will not buy it on DVD or Blu-Ray. I don’t particularly care to see it at all, no matter what big name stars they put in it. It will definitely NEVER count as canon to me.

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44 Responses to “One Prequel Basher Replaced With Another”

  1. Nobody Says:

    I’d get worked up about this, but coming from the guy who directed “The Golden Compass” and one of the “Twilight” movies, I could care less about what he thinks movie mistakes are. Just Disney business as usual I guess.

    Actually I rather liked “The Golden Compass”, but that’s mostly due to the book. Meh.

  2. M. Marshall Says:

    OK, I told a total stranger at Taco Bell that I wasn’t going to see ep. 7 and now I’m intending to boycott Disney Star Wars. When it comes to the GFFA, they’re not getting my money. No more Star Wars for me, especially one with mouse ears attached to it. I hope they fail miserably.

    And as for Weitz, he can stick that undeserved Oscar up someplace where the sun don’t shine!

  3. darth66zannah Says:

    I find it funny that all these people hate PM but it is one of the most successful films of all time…somebody keeps buying and seeing this “terrible” film…this is very disturbing and the fact that this a hole is carrying of Lucas’ legacy is WRONG

  4. piccolojr1138 Says:

    You know, I bet The Force Awakens and the first standalone will be bashed by many OT-only fans… It’s one thing to criticize George Lucas, it’s another to do your own movie. It will be fun to watch them argue about whether or not Abrams and Edwards got the real Star Wars spirit…

    • Keith Palmer Says:

      I’ve been wondering about that myself. As much as I’m sure some insist they were struck by “instant visceral repulsion,” I have the suspicion the negativity against the second Star Wars trilogy is constructed (which I suppose dovetails with my impression that my own positivity towards them developed through a conscious effort of will), and that some people are already constructing a sort of “it’s not made by Lucas, so it’s great!” reaction… although I do seem to recall JJ Abrams’s Star Trek movies were positively received at first only to have that mood shift over time.

  5. Chris N. Says:

    Movie mistake? Has he ever looked at his own resume? Oh, the irony…

  6. Tony Ferris Says:

    I doubt Disney went through the man’s twitter before hiring him, nor should they be expected to.

    I get that this is frustrating, even angering, but it was the inevitable result of Lucas signing those papers in 2012.

    He was effectively giving control of Star Wars to the generation that found his prequel trilogy loathsome. While it is most certainly true that there are filmmakers that don’t hate those films, there aren’t many as far as I’m aware. Certainly not among the current generation.

    If I thought these films were being made with any real understanding of the full complexity of the saga, and with proper respect for Lucas and his intentions I might have more interest. But they aren’t, so I don’t. It’ll be a generation or more before that might change, and we’re just going to have to accept that. Maybe someone will make a movie that I’ll like, but I’m doubtful. I expect a sea of Original Trilogy knock-offs, or Empire riffs lets be honest (just as Abrams Trek movies were a shallow, tedious riff on The Wrath of Khan), which could not be more tiresome.

    I’ll give them a chance, that’s only fair, and I’ll accept them if all they do is run as deep as their surface, but I don’t expect to be enthralled.

    But hey ho.

  7. Eduardo Vargas Says:

    Well, that rather makes me seriously doubt watching this film.

    Besides, it’s not like he directed a film that is even more virulently hated than TPM.

    The jokes on him I guess

  8. AlexDGesln Says:

    Maybe want to add a link to these tweets? I can’t seem to find them anywhere.

    Unless… you are just trying to stir up drama…

  9. PrinceOfNaboo Says:

    Just another reason to ignore all of this spin-off nonsense.

    This is, again, a major failure for Kathy Kennedy. This person was hand-picked by the creator himself, sat next to him when the sale was announced….and isn’t ashamed of presenting disrespectful and childish Lucas haters one by one?

    • peacetrainjedi Says:

      In all fairness, she might not have known about his prequel hate on twitter. But once Star Wars fans bring it to her and Lucasfilm’s attention, they should take action.

    • Hunk a Junk Says:

      Kennedy works for Disney. Disney wants a return on their investment. If The Force Awakens box office doesn’t land squarely in the top ten films of all time, she can be replaced. I’m sure Disney is calculating that fans like us will go to these films, so they need to “win back” the fans who hated the PT. So until that happens, yeah, it’s probably a smart business and professional decision for Kennedy to throw us under the bus until the hateboys are happy. What Disney will likely find out, however, is that the hateboys are rarely, if ever, happy.

  10. darth66zannah Says:

    “It’s why i because a director…” LOL and this illiterate fool is writing a Star Wars film?

  11. peacetrainjedi Says:

    In the immortal words of Kevin Sorbo: “Disappointed!!” 😡

    Look at it this way LP, at least Disney’s hiring of prequel bashers is going in the right direction. From Super Hater Whitta to Obnoxious statements by Weitz. 4 or 5 more writers later and we might actually get one who hasn’t spewed vitriol towards the prequels like an adolescent.

  12. mindlessdroid Says:

    I with you they’ll get nothing from me either. Love the “fake corporate-created karaoke” comment.

  13. lovelucas Says:

    You would think Kathleen Kennedy would at least have a clue – or was George deceived? The only comfort I take in the status of things is knowing so many others feel the same way I do – disenchanted, depressed and looking back instead of forward. I am still surrounded by all my Star Wars “stuff” and I do still love every piece, every poster, every piece of art – including my bathroom wallpaper – and that will never change.

  14. madmediaman Says:

    I think these decisions are largely out of Kathleen Kennedy’s hands… What proof do I have? Two things:

    1. Alan Horn is the one driving the train at Disney. He’s the Chairman of Walt Disney Studios and has been responsible for Disney’s recent change of fortunes from their live action film division. Most people don’t know that he and Kennedy have a bit of history together… and it’s not good.

    Horn essentially held the same position years ago at Warner’s overseeing the Harry Potter films and Nolan’s Batman series. Well one of the films released under his tenure was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a Kennedy/Marshall production. To say Horn and Kennedy did not get along would be an understatement.

    The film was massively over budget and behind schedule. Kennedy of course sided with director David Fincher and went to bat for him a number of times. The cost overruns were driving Horn mad and he threatened to shut the production down. By the end of shooting, Horn and Kennedy were no longer on speaking terms, and it took the intervention of their mutual friend, Steven Spielberg, to patch up things before the premiere. According to rumor Horn was so pissed at Kennedy he threatened to bar her from the world premiere. Horn eventually relented, and they made nice, but apparently their relationship is “strained” to put it mildly.

    Memories are long in the industry and I could easily see Horn exercising his authority over Kennedy to make sure things stayed on track. I long suspected Horn was the reason Lucas is no longer involved in the production, since Kennedy implied multiple times that Lucas was going to be very involved in this production before totally handing over the reins. Horn simply may not have liked what he believed was “interference” by Lucas. Lucas’ recent statements, and comments early last year make it pretty clear George was unceremoniously dumped from Episode VII.

    2. A few industry magazines and gossip rags ran an article a number of months ago that relations between JJ Abrams and Horn were a little tense. If you recall only two weeks before principal photography began Horn did a Q&A at a speaking engagement and said he was heading off to London to “get the script in shape” (his words). Mind you this was only two weeks before shooting. Additionally Horn was apparently annoyed by Abrams continued delays. Horn really wanted this movie out in May 2015, but Abrams and Kennedy said they needed more time. Then the Ford injury happened and Kennedy and Abrams suddenly had thir window to sow things down.

    There’s apparently also been some difficulty in terms of film promotion. JJ wants his Mystery Box, and Disney wants more info out to ratchet up interest. This almost mirrors exactly the difficulty in Paramount’s relationship with Abrams over Trek. Abrams wanted total control of the franchise, from marketing, and merchandising. At one point Abrams wanted CBS to stop releasing the old shows on DVD and cease licensing toys with the images of the TOS characters, and instead use the new cast to promote all things Trek. CBS laughed him off, and when it was clear he wasn’t going to get the control he wanted he bolted.

    I suspect this is likely what happened with Star Wars as well. Abrams is really not a director you bring in to do a one off. He’s going to be around for the long haul… heck he’s still pretty involved in the Mission Impossible franchise. He was never hired to just direct Episode VII. I suspect the original plan was for Abrams to take the reigns of the Sequel Trilogy, and Bad Robot would come on board and supervise the spin offs and any TV releases.

    But Horn, probably balked at this, wanting Disney to exercise control over a franchise they now owned… In that same Horn Q&A from earlier, Horn responds to a question about Lucas’ input down the road, and essentially says (diplomatically) that Lucas could basically go pound sand if he objected to anything since Star Wars was now Disney property.

    I’ve long feared the Disney film division getting their mitts on Star Wars, and I fear my worst nightmares are becoming realized. The franchise is really going to be run by a bunch of suits, with film’s being made by committee.

    • piccolojr1138 Says:

      Interesting point of view, I hope we’ll know about it soon enough. On february 2013, Lucas still said that his treatments were meant to be respected, and Bob Iger still praised those.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2013-03-07/how-disney-bought-lucasfilm-and-its-plans-for-star-wars%20#p4

    • lazypadawan Says:

      This is all very, very interesting. I had no idea but I guess in the aggregate, it makes sense.

      Now, why aren’t fan sites reporting more of this kind of thing?

    • Tarrlok Says:

      Well, damn…

      For one thing, the Disney film division taking direct control might explain the rumoured whitewashing of Boba Fett. Not bothering to find someone who looks like the character should and instead bringing in an expensive A-lister would seem totally in-character for them.

      With that sort of jockeying going on behind the scenes, do you reckon that the ST and other SW film projects in the making will be able to move forward as (relatively) seamlessly as the OT and PT did?

    • madmediaman Says:

      We’ll Lazy, to be fair most fans are going to cheerleader, but all one has to do is go through deadline.com to learn about Horn and Kennedy’s history. It’s amusing, because yesterday Abrams all but verified what I wrote…

      He stated that he’s staying aboard as an Executive Producer. So clearly there was some intent for him to take creative control of the Sequel Trilogy, and for Bad Robot to be running the show in terms of the films. However I would advise people to look at Trek. He’s going to be aboard that franchise going forward as Executive Producer, but it’s a title… He has almost no input whatsoever as Paramount took over the reins of the franchise after Orci’s Star Trek 3 script was apparently a disaster.

      I doubt he’ll have much to do going forward. In fact if you look at the tea leaves there appears to be quite a shakeup around Star Wars. First Arndt was fired, then Kasdan takes over scripting. We also hear rumors that Kasdan is writing the first spin off film (Boba Fett). Then Garry Whitta ( a guy with no real track record) is inexplicable hired to write Boba. Then we hear he’s departing the project. Initial rumors are Simon Kinberg is finishing up the Boba script, but only a week later we learn Weitz is hired. Mind you, Weitz is a Disney guy, and likely a Horn guy too as Horn was still at Warners when New Line (and Warner’s) was producing Weitz’s film The Golden Compass. In fact Horn had nothing but glowing raves for Weitz.

      So it really doesn’t take a lot to put two and two together to see that it appears that Kennedy and the “old guard” are being moved to the side while Disney exerts their control over the Saga… at least as far as the films go.

      Again, want proof… Remember only last year how Disney was supposed to really be pushing Star Wars rides at Disney, and that Disneyland might be unveiling a couple of rides in 2015 (Endor speeder bike ride replacing the old Peoplemover track, etc), and might even coincide with Celebration? Well, that’s clearly not happening, and to go one further, Iger just announced that Disney’s Star Wars rides will be based off future films… the implication seems to be that if you want “old school” you need to ride Star Tours.

      Those are not the actions of a company that really values George’s six films all that much, outside of using them to generate money. Disney seems focused on Star Wars for the future, and they will make their imprint on the Saga the way they want to, and will not be beholden to canon, or promises to fans made by Lucasfilm employees like Pablo Hidalgo, and Dave Filoni.

      Buckle up folks and prepare for the Marvelization of Star Wars…

      • M. Marshall Says:

        What a mess…

      • lazypadawan Says:

        You know it’s desperate when you have to drag in Simon Pegg of all people to finish a script o_0.

        So Weitz is an old pal of Horn’s eh? I guess that’s your main qualification to get a gig on Star Wars.

        Cheerleading may be a big part of the issue with fan sites but I also think that not very many of them are run by people who get the entertainment industry or corporate politics. Not to say I’m an expert myself but I get a lot of feedback from people who are. Maybe there’s a little naivete that it’s still the same old Lucasfilm. Fans themselves can be kind of hostile to stuff they don’t necessarily want to hear.

      • madmediaman Says:

        Wouldn’t go so far as to say pals, but they do have a working relationship and Horn pestered Weitz for years to write and direct a follow up to Golden Compass (it was a modest hit for New Line). Plus Disney is apparently happy with Cinderella, so Horn certainly has a comfort level with him.

      • Nobody Says:

        The Golden Compass, a modest hit? I thought it was a failure at the box office. Otherwise we would’ve had a sequel eventually anyway. Too bad, because frankly I rather liked it well enough as a good Pullman adaptation.

      • madmediaman Says:

        After international and home video it broke even. But Warner’s didn’t want to take the plunge.

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        Interesting discussion here, and insightful information by madmediaman. To sum up, would you say that the whole direction is really different to the one GL may have envisioned for Lucasfilm under Disney’s tutelage?

        As for Weitz’s statements… Well, he is of course entitled to his opinion, and even professionals are not immune to the Exaggerated Statements Internet Virus ™. The problem is rather that hiring him may be a symptom of the whole development madmediaman has described above. Unfortunately, we can only wait, see and vote by our wallets.

      • madmediaman Says:

        Well Stefan, under the Lucas plan, Episode VII would have shot on location, and then picked up stakes to Marin County in a new Lucasfilm film studio at Grady Ranch. Unfortunately the local officials in the area would not grant a permit to build, thus ending Lucas interest in continuing the Saga himself (he was planning to direct Episode VII before riding off into the sunset).

        Had Lucas then turned over the reins I think things would be quite different. Lucasfilm would not need Disney’s rented studio space at Pinewood and could just keep the creative team sequestered at the Ranch, away from Disney execs. I also suspect if Lucas were essentially able to pull out of his driveway and drive 5 minutes to work he’d probably be involved to some degree… minor, but still engaged.

        Given Lucas’ suspicious nature regarding studios, I’m sure what’s been happening as of late has been in the back of his mind. But by and large I’m sure he’s happy to be free of it, and unconcerned about the production. However, Lucas himself is extremely loyal, and I’m sure part of what has transpired does hurt him on a personal level; after all Bob Iger and Lucas had a close business relationship, and he and Kennedy are friends.

        I suspect that’s probably what motivated his recent comments regarding his treatments… He’s severing himself from Star Wars, and letting fans know that what’s released in 2015 will bear little resemblance to what he handed over to Disney back in 2012. It’s amusing because even a lot of the Prequel bashers are coming out of the woodwork, and growing concerned that something may be wrong.

        Ultimately I think what we will get is continued solid products coming from the Lucasfilm Story Group in terms of books, comics, and TV shows (because ultimately Disney really doesn’t care about these things), but the films are a wild card. Disney is clearly running that show, for better or worse.

    • madmediaman Says:

      Also, for any Disney fanatics out there ( like myself), does anyone recall Bob Iger going so out of his way to make positive statements about a film, and generate buzz like he has TFA? I certainly don’t recall Iger being quite so hog wild over other Disney tent poles.

    • M. Marshall Says:

      “Alan Horn is the one driving the train at Disney. He’s the Chairman of Walt Disney Studios and has been responsible for Disney’s recent change of fortunes from their live action film division.”

      Is it just me, or has Disney lately been making some very crappy, uninspired live action films? This rumor of “whitewashing” Boba Fett reminds me of how irritated I was at seeing Meryl Streep cast as the witch in “Into the Woods” when Vanessa Williams would’ve been a better choice (she was the witch on Broadway and she NAILED the part). Maleficent was nothing more than a showcase for Angelina Jolie’s ego (every other character in that movie was either stupid or unattractive). Now they want to do another live action “Cinderella” — for the 10,00000th time. Can’t they find other fairy tales to adapt for the big screen, ones that preferably aren’t of European origin?

      • madmediaman Says:

        Disney is not stopping there with the live action adaptations of animated classics… There are more on the way. Oh and don’t forget Alice in Wonderland II coming soon..

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I thought Jolie was very well cast for “Maleficent” but I hated that they turned a villain into basically a rape victim. *Facepalm.*

      • M. Marshall Says:

        Oh Jolie was very good, no doubt about it. It’s just that it was too easy for her to shine because there were no other characters that stole the show or became the ensemble darkhorse. Flora, Fauna and Merryweather were reduced to a triple of dimwits. Aurora was too homely (wasn’t she blessed with the gift of beauty?). King Stefan was a backstabbing opportunist. Compare that to the original animated classic where there were lots of characters to love.

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