After revealing his plan to retire from Hollywood business, George Lucas made another surprising announcement. On Friday, June 1, the veteran filmmaker named producer Kathleen Kennedy his co-chairwoman and successor of Lucasfilm Ltd., the legendary San Francisco studio Lucas privately built in 1971.
"I've spent my life building Lucasfilm, and as I shift my focus into other directions I wanted to make sure it was in the hands of someone equipped to carry my vision into the future," Lucas said upon announcing the news. "It was important that my successor not only be someone with great creative passion and proven leadership abilities, but also someone who loves movies."
Lucas' fellow filmmaker, Steven Spielberg, chimed in, "Kathy has been a member of both of our families going into a fourth decade so it does not feel like she is going to another galaxy far, far away." He added, "She will get just as much support from me with Lucasfilm as George has given both of us all these years."
Kennedy herself, meanwhile, has planned to step down from her role at the Kennedy/Marshall Company. The 7-time Oscar nominee admitted that she has no hesitation to take the duty in Lucasfilm. "I thought it was an incredible opportunity for George to ask me to step into what has become such an incredible legacy that he has created over the years," she said, as quoted by Los Angeles Times.
However, Kennedy, who is also a frequent collaborator of Spielberg, claimed that it's still too premature to discuss what kind of changes she might bring to Lucas' company and what types of films the studio would make. "George and I have not had time to sit down and focus on the specifics. I'm certainly fortunate that he's not going anywhere," she said.
Lucasfilm currently does not have any new live-action feature film in development. It recently gave 3D treatment for the five "Star Wars" films. It also works on "Star Wars Detours" TV series and an untitled animated film.
As for Kennedy, the 58-year-old producer is known for her works in such movie series as the "Indiana Jones", "Jurassic Park" and "Bourne". She recently produced Spielberg's "War Horse" and "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn", and will team up with him once again in biopic "Lincoln".