Disney has no plans to end either the Star Wars or Marvel film franchises, according to its CEO Bob Iger. Iger confirmed the wonderful/dreadful news to BBC Newsbeat, and your gut reaction will say a lot about your feelings toward their ongoing contributions to cinema.
“There are five Star Wars films – four more with Episode VII: The Force Awakens – that are in varying stages of development and production”, Iger said. “There will be more after that, I don’t know how many, I don’t know how often”.
All told, the nearly 40-year-old film franchise (formerly six movies, or seven if you count The Clone Wars) will almost double in size within five years under Disney’s leadership: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is due to hit cinemas on December 16, 2016, then Episode VIII will follow on December 15, 2017 (after a recent delay). The sequel-prequel cadence will continue with an untitled film about Young Han Solo in 2018, and Episode IX will arrive in 2019. But the end of the trilogy will be far from the end of the Star Wars revival, according to Iger.
So what about Disney’s other pop culture darling film franchise?
“Marvel, you’re dealing with thousands and thousands of characters – that will go on forever,” Iger said. Forever is a long time, especially since the Marvel Cinematic Universe began nearly eight years ago with Iron Man. The next MCU movie will be Captain America: Civil War, hitting theaters on April 29 in the UK and May 6 in the US.
“No, I don’t think [audiences are] getting weary,” Iger noted. “But I think we keep raising the bar in terms of telling stories that bring them back, that excite them, that make it feel new and that is what we do for a living.”