obi-wan kenobi original plans

The Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series has had a long road to the screen. First rumored as a spin-off movie with Ewan McGregor reprising his role as the beloved Jedi Master, news of the project eventually fell by the wayside following the disappointing box office returns of 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. But rumors finally became reality with the announcement of the yet-untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series set to premiere on Disney+. However, McGregor has confirmed that the initial rumors were true: this was going to be a movie at first.

In 2017, it was reported that The Hours director Stephen Daldry was in talks to direct a long-awaited Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off film. Disney and Lucasfilm were in the midst of drastically expanding their Star Wars output, with standalone films set in the galaxy far, far away opening in theaters during the gap between the Skywalker Saga films. However, those plans were brought to a halt after the box office disappointment of last year’s Solo, and Disney turned its sights to the lucrative arena of streaming instead. After years of stalling, the rumored Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off movie became a TV series, McGregor confirmed to ComingSoon:

“It wasn’t always going to be a series, not initially. When we first started talking about, that wasn’t really in the cards but everything’s changed so much, so quickly. It’s really exciting that it is now. I’m really into the idea to be able to tell the story over several hours instead of just one hit. I think it’s going to be quite cool.”

This gels with McGregor revealing that he’s long known about the Obi-Wan project, as it seems that Disney has been trying to get that feature film off the ground for years before turning to the small screen. It was a fast transition from film to TV, but as we’ve seen in the past few years with the rapid takeover of streaming, fast is the only way to keep up with this industry. With the Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series heading to streaming alongside movies like Lady and the Tramp and the Marvel shows, Disney+ is becoming a perfect tool for the House of Mouse to invest in big-budget titles without the potential embarrassment of poor box office returns.

The yet-untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series will begin filming in summer 2020, according to McGregor. We don’t know any other concrete details about the series except that The Mandalorian director Deborah Chow is set to helm the series. The series premieres exclusively on Disney+, likely in 2021.

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