Producer Kathleen Kennedy Joins Lucasfilm as George Lucas Retires
If you're a producer and your first five films are E.T., Poltergeist, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Gremlins, chances are pretty good you're going to have a solid career. As Steven Spielberg's producing partner, Kathleen Kennedy has one of the most impressive resumes in Hollywood history, and her films have earned over $5 billion at the domestic box office. Now, Deadline reports that Kennedy is taking that success to Lucasfilm, where she'll be the new Co-Chair alongside George Lucas, who announced he's stepping down from mainstream films in favor of experimental efforts.
Kennedy is stepping down from her position as co-head of the Kennedy/Marshall Co. production company she founded with husband Frank Marshall, and will eventually become Lucas' successor to the Skywalker Ranch as he slowly transitions out of mainstream filmmaking altogether. Lucas told Empire Magazine:
I’m moving away from all my businesses, I’m finishing all my obligations and I’m going to retire to my garage with my saw and hammer and build hobby movies. I’ve always wanted to make movies that were more experimental in nature, and not have to worry about them showing in movie theatres.”
It's unclear how this move will affect Kennedy and Spielberg's working relationship, which is one of the longest-running and most successful in the entertainment industry. Lucas is sticking by her side for at least a year or two while he gets her up to speed on his plans for expansion and growth at Lucasfilm, so there's the possibility that she'll still have time to work with Spielberg on some upcoming projects before she takes the helm by herself. After that, it's all up in the air. Her presence as a producer will certainly be missed, but perhaps she's the jolt of energy that a tired company like Lucasfilm needs to heat up again and start making movies. Just because George is retiring doesn't mean the whole company is falling apart, so hopefully Kennedy can get some new blood in there and start generating some quality entertainment. Thoughts?