Kathleen Kennedy is Leaving 'Jurassic Park 4' to Focus on 'Star Wars'
After producing blockbusters like E.T., Twister, The Sixth Sense, War of the Worlds, and tons more, Steven Spielberg's producing partner Kathleen Kennedy has stepped in to become co-chairman of Lucasfilm alongside George Lucas last June. Of course, this was before we knew that Disney would purchase the company and breathe new life into the Star Wars franchise by announcing new movies in the series, and now it's become even clearer that Kennedy's priorities are all in a galaxy far, far away. Her husband Frank Marshall tweeted yesterday that Jurassic Park 4 is still happening, but Kennedy will no longer produce it.
One of the biggest questions that arose from Kennedy's new position at Lucasfilm was how it would affect her producing career, and especially her projects alongside her mentor Spielberg. She stepped down as co-head of Kennedy/Marshall Co., which Frank Marshall is still operating, but we weren't sure how quickly this would affect projects that weren't Star Wars-related. It looks like Jurassic Park 4 is the first casualty, as Marshall tweeted this yesterday when a fan asked if Kennedy would still be producing the dino sequel:
@jackdelamare No, Ms. Kennedy has moved onto Star Wars and will not be producing JP4. She's traded raptors for TIE fighters.
— Frank Marshall (@LeDoctor) February 17, 2013
Spielberg will definitely be producing Jurassic Park 4 at least, which has secured Rise of the Planet of the Apes writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver to tackle the screenplay, but Spielberg won't have Kennedy by his side this time to help produce. It's a shame that she's leaving the franchise after producing or executive producing all three previous JP entries, but this is an extremely important time for the Star Wars brand right now, and Kennedy's talents are needed on that front more than anywhere else, that's for sure.
Without any cast or a director locked down yet for the next Jurassic Park installment, time is ticking away and Universal should probably start making some decisions quickly if they really expect to meet their pre-established June 13th, 2014 release date for Jurassic Park 4. Marshall is still slated to produce alongside Spielberg, so we'll have to wait until 2014 to see if Kennedy's presence is really missed behind the scenes. Until then, I'm sure we'll be hearing more from her as one of the world's biggest film franchises gears up for its newest revival under the direction of J.J. Abrams, so stay tuned for more updates all around.