Given that producer Rick McCallum maintained a consistent level of communication and exposure throughout his tenure at Lucasfilm -- shepherding the “Star Wars” special editions and prequel trilogy to fruition -- it was a bit of a surprise to see his recent retirement notice come under such quiet circumstances. Originally revealed via third-party on the ForceCast podcast, his departure has now been given an official statement, as well as an interesting possibility for the future.
It always remained a question whether McCallum would stay with Lucasfilm following the company's $4.05 billion deal with Disney for acquisition, and on Saturday, a statement from the man made his departure official. Of greater interest is McCallum's vision for the next few years, as he plans to produce a slate of smaller, independent films from Prague, where he and his family have already relocated.
The new crop of films planned include a Russian drama focused on the 1940s Babi Yar Massacre, a Laurence Bowen-directed film about Sierra Leone child soldiers, and an action drama with Tomas Masin about two brothers attempting to escape Czechoslovakia during the Cold War. As for McCallum's relationship with George Lucas, their futures might be linked as well sooner rather than later. "I hope to be able to collaborate with Rick again on one of these projects," Lucas said, "as I go off to make my own experimental films."
So while Lucas evidently preps his backyard shed endeavors for his slow transformation into Douglas Trumbull, it appears that McCallum has the opportunity to nicely continue their working relationship. To read McCallum's exit remarks in their entirety, as well as his opinion on Kathleen Kennedy and her vision for the future of “Star Wars,” check out the piece on the franchise's official site. It's an interesting change of direction for the veteran producer, and one that should yield some distinctive results. [Variety]