Star Wars producer Rick McCallum has revealed that a proposed live-action TV show based on the film franchise is being developed under the working title of Star Wars: Underworld.
If the proposed small-screen series gets the go-ahead, it will be set between the end of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and the beginning of Episode IV, A New Hope.
During an interview with IGN, the producer said: “The scripts [for the new show] are timeless because they take place in that 20-year period between Episode III and Episode IV when Luke is growing up – it’s not about Luke, but it’s about that period.”
When asked about Underworld’s title, McCallum explained that the show would be concerned with criminals, gangs and everything that is “underneath what’s going on.”
However he revealed that financial worries are hampering the chances of the show ever making it to TV, saying: “How do we get [the budget for the show] down to a cost that is commensurable with reality?
“It’s really tough because we’re trying to do in one hour the same amount of effects and technology that a two-hour film has to do, and we have to do it every week. And try and do it for $5m.”
He claimed that each of the Star Wars prequel films cost $100m to make, which illustrates the scale of the challenge involved.
A further problem facing Underworld’s producers is finding a suitable network to air the show, with McCallum claiming that HBO would want more control over the project than George Lucas is willing to give.
Netflix and basic cable channels are also out, because they would not be able to meet the huge audience figures Lucas expects from his Star Wars projects, and network TV in America is unattractive to the show’s producers because of the possibility of cancellation at any time, should Underworld fail to attract advertisers.