A new female-centric ‘Star Wars’ television series is being developed for the Disney+ streaming platform, according to Hollywood trade reports.
The show from Leslye Headland, co-creator of Netflix drama ‘Russian Doll’, would be Disney’s latest bid to expand the blockbuster sci-fi franchise on the small screen after the runaway success of ‘The Mandalorian’. Deadline Hollywood said the series would be a “female-driven action thriller with martial arts elements and set in an alternate timeline from the usual ‘Star Wars’ universe.”
The Hollywood Reporter said the new show would be live-action. Disney has prioritised television for ‘Star Wars’ over the next few years.
‘The Mandalorian’, featuring the viral internet sensation Baby Yoda, was the flagship launch show for Disney’s on-demand platform last year, proving a hit with critics and audiences.
A third season is already in development.
In addition, two other new live-action ‘Star Wars’ television series are in the works for Disney+, including the return of Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, and a prequel to movie spin-off ‘Rogue One’.
In February, then-CEO Bob Iger hinted at potential spinoffs for ‘The Mandalorian’, which could include “taking those characters in their own direction in terms of series.”
Meanwhile, Disney has slowed down the release of its upcoming ‘Star Wars’ films, with its recently concluded trilogy seeing diminishing box office returns and mixed reviews.
Efforts to introduce more female and minority lead characters into the franchise have also proven divisive among some fans.
The recent film trilogy saw women and characters of color like Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) take center stage – angering a vocal, toxic minority.
Asian-American actress Kelly Marie Tran, who became the franchise’s first leading actress of color in 2017’s ‘The Last Jedi’, was hounded off social media by racist and sexist abuse.
Headland received two Emmy nominations last year for “Russian Doll,” a dark comedy which sees a New York woman trapped in a “Groundhog Day” style loop in which she keeps dying and reliving her 36th birthday.