In the first in-depth profile of Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, the Hollywood Reporter talks with the veteran Kennedy Marshall producer about nabbing J.J. Abrams for “Star Wars Episode VII” and George Lucas’ involvement with the new film. They also speak with Kennedy collaborators Steven Spielberg, David Fincher and Kennedy’s producer husband, Frank Marshall. Highlights below.
The full profile is here.
Kennedy on getting “Episode VII” into production:
“[Abrams and I] spent a lot of time talking about how meaningful Star Wars is and the depth of the mythology that George has created and how we carry that into the next chapter. Our goal is to move as quickly as we can, and we’ll see what happens… The timetable we care about is getting the story.”
Kennedy on George Lucas’ role in the new “Star Wars” installment:
“I call him my Yoda. He’ll be a consultant. But he recognizes he’s stepping away.”
Kennedy on her hopes for Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated “Lincoln,” which she produced:
“I’d love to have the Oscar. I’d love to get this over with. It’s not fun to lose. I admit that… [but] I would hate to be in a situation where my entire focus was obsessing around the issue of whether we’re going to win best picture.”
Husband and producer Frank Marshall on first meeting Kennedy, when she was Spielberg’s assistant:
“I knew that the best way to know what my director was doing was to become friends with his assistant. She was very cute and very efficient and energetic about making movies. I had never thought I’d find someone who liked to make movies as much as I did. But I was completely respectful. There was no way I was going to screw this up by hitting on Steven’s assistant.”
David Fincher (via email) on Kennedy as a “directors producer”:
“Kathy Kennedy is a DIRECTORS producer … She is never interested in the ‘Lay of the land’ … Studio politics are a tangential distraction. She is all about the importance of DECISIVE MOMENTUM. When you, as a director — call Kathy and say ‘I need this …’ she can actually remember the meeting where you explained why something was LINCHPIN to an effect you were trying to create — or helped support an idea that you felt was essential to the story you are telling, and SHE CAN ACT ON IT.”