How Solo: A Star Wars Story Was Setting Up A Sequel
Solo: A Star Wars co-writer Jonathan Kasdan reveals how the film tried to set up a sequel. Prior to the spinoff hitting theaters this summer, star Alden Ehrenreich confirmed he had signed a three-picture contract with Lucasfilm, which of course meant followups were in play. Unfortunately, the future of the Solo sub-series was thrown into question when the movie underperformed at the box office. Based on the worldwide gross, Solo is actually the first Star Wars movie to lose money for its distributor, and Lucasfilm placed future anthology projects on hold in the aftermath.
Though Solo is a standalone film, it did lay the groundwork for more installments. The infamous Maul scene stands out as possible sequel bait to many, but there were more subtle breadcrumbs the filmmakers scattered throughout the picture. Now, Kasdan has shared some with fans.
Taking to his Twitter account, Kasdan posted a thread of several Solo factoids in an attempt to make up for the fact the Blu-ray does not come with a commentary track. A number of the items detailed threads that could have been explored in a sequel. In an original draft of the script, the Conveyex job was to break a criminal out of prison, and his gang wouldn't be seen again until they rescued Han in a sequel. That, of course, was changed, but Kasdan also voiced a desire to see more of Han and Qi'ra's relationship. He said what's in Solo is not meant to be the conclusion of their story, and there's more to tell.
Lucasfilm may decide to explore this time period of Star Wars history further, as 10 years separate the end of Solo and the original trilogy. That being said, the studio might be better served using other mediums of canon to expand the story. While the film has its fans, it was nowhere near the draw other Disney era Star Wars installments were and a sequel might be a tough sell. On the movie front, Lucasfilm seems more keen on developing projects like Rian Johnson's trilogy and David Benioff & D.B. Weiss' series. Both of those are separate from the Skywalker saga, which allegedly is ending with Episode IX. As Lucasfilm looks to keep their prized franchise viable into the future, looking to new horizons instead of digging up more of the past may be the better route to go. Things might be different if Solo had broken Memorial Day records, but it may not be worth it in the long run.
One possible way, however, is if a Solo sequel was produced for a moderate budget. Due to the extensive production woes, Solo ended up being the most expensive film Lucasfilm has ever made, when it was originally budgeted at around $125 million. With a worldwide gross of $392.9 million (peanuts compared to similar titles), Solo would have been slightly profitable if it had stayed on track and didn't go through substantial reshoots. There were other factors that contributed to Solo's poor box office, such as a competitive release date and a lackluster marketing campaign - both of which are easy to correct. Maybe if the Blu-ray sells well, Ehrenreich will fly the Millennium Falcon again.
Source: Jon Kasdan