Why Kathleen Kennedy’s Contract Was Renewed

Why Kathleen Kennedy’s Contract Was Renewed

Under normal circumstances, the one-two punch of The Last Jedi and Solo would have sunk any executive’s career. When John Carter failed at the box office, Iger fired the president of Disney Films. The guy who is above Kevin Feige and Kathleen Kennedy.

However, the years of their releases changed things. Last Jedi came out in 2017, Solo in 2018. The films’ performances were irrelevant. They both became inextricably tied to the #Resistance against the Orange Man. Stating your opinions about them had become a political act.

There is far too much emotional investment in these views at this point.

Consequently, Kathleen Kennedy’s retention or dismissal became no longer a business decision in any way, shape, or form. Either action became a very strong political statement by Disney.

And Disney is a very, very leftwing company in an extremely leftist industry.

From that perspective, Chapek had very little choice. If he fired her, Disney would have become a pariah company within the film industry. No talent would be willing to work them. And he would be facing a string of low-level revolts within the corporation itself.

Hopefully, her continued employment is a manageable condition but I have my doubts.

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Comments (11)

  • Chief_Tuscaloosa Reply

    The above explanation is…making too much sense to me. Somehow, presumably unintentionally, Dark Herald has made me feel sorry for Bob Chapek. Which I didn’t think possible.

    Chapek can’t make good movies the audience wants to see (because Woke has to be exponentially pushed with each release), nor can he expect to make money by releasing Woke crap, nor can he not spend money on making movies. He can’t be sleeping well.

    November 16, 2021 at 4:40 pm
    • RandyJJ Reply

      If that was his perspective on the situation, is there anything stopping him from resigning?

      November 16, 2021 at 5:55 pm
      • EXALT Reply

        There probably is, yeah. Hollywood is not known for being an easy place to work in.

        November 16, 2021 at 10:25 pm
      • douglas Whiddon Reply

        Money. He will continue to get HUGE paychecks, and when they finally show him the door he will glide on a golden parachute that guarantees he will never touch down.

        November 17, 2021 at 12:13 am
        • RandyJJ Reply

          Granted. But that’s not the profile of a man who “can’t be sleeping well.”

          November 17, 2021 at 2:51 am
  • MrUNIVAC Reply

    Last Jedi I agree with, but Solo? My sense is that politics were at most tangential to that film’s downfall. Solo flopped due to a combination of Kennedy’s total failure at being a producer and because the “misogynistic man-baby fans” stayed away as a way of expressing displeasure with TLJ. The new and precious woke audience that Hollywood covets so much didn’t lift a finger to save Solo because they don’t care about entertainment unless it’s being used as a vehicle to spread the woke religion, and although I haven’t seen it, I get the sense that Solo isn’t anywhere near as in-your-face woke as TLJ was.

    I stayed away from Solo more out of apathy than anything. I don’t even have to see the movie to know what’s in it: he’ll meet Chewie, he’ll win the Falcon from Lando, he’ll do the Kessel Run, maybe a smuggling mission or two. Oh, and because it’s Kennedyfilm, there will probably be at least one petite British waif girl, and we’ll get to watch her Mary Sue her way through a bunch of tough-looking men who’d mop the floor with her IRL.

    The sad thing about Star Wars is that it’s basically GamerGate, but like if the aGGs won in the end.

    November 16, 2021 at 6:11 pm
    • Seeker Reply

      Solo is probably the most average film I have ever seen. It has a lot of weird reshoots and script choices; wasted potential with having two characters die off too soon; and some scenes that had interesting potential, but which weren’t explored enough (i.e. life under imperial occupation, what a realistic star wars battlefield looks like, etc.).

      As far as woke goes, it isn’t really. You have the female droid who is annoying (but also speculated to be a parody in the original script), and you have the subversive tough masked warrior who turns out to be a teenage ginger girl. Outside of the movie they tried to push the Lando as pansexual thing, but that basically amounts to him kissing a weird looking alien’s hand (during a space poker match), and him maybe having an emotional attachment to a comedic robot (though they left in enough scenes to show that the relationship is entirely one way). And I guess the plot about fuel is stupid, given that Kessel actually produces hyper addictive spices that give you psychic powers (yeah, Han was originally a drug runner). Solo’s biggest problem is that KK fired the original directors and then told the replacement to do extensive reshoots (to the point of literally cutting out one of the major characters of the film). How many times has that gone well for a project?

      November 16, 2021 at 7:53 pm
  • EXALT Reply

    Still and all, Rogue Squadron and the Rian Trilogy have been functionally shelved, and those were Kennedy projects; High Republic has received almost no advertising since January, and that was THE Kennedy project. Therefore, “still there but reined in” may be the correct option.

    November 16, 2021 at 8:52 pm
    • Chris Lopes Reply

      Yep, on a short leash.

      November 16, 2021 at 11:38 pm
  • Bonesaw Reply

    Extensive reshoots that replaced a key character did work once – Back to the Future.
    The original Marty McFly was played by a different actor, and they completed nearly the entire movie before deciding to fire him and replace him with Mr Fox.
    From the stills and things I’ve seen it was the right call.

    November 18, 2021 at 6:03 am
  • Kevin Reply

    Convergence has a huge cost. Executives are backed into a corner and have to take the poison pill.

    November 22, 2021 at 11:43 pm

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