How is the live-action Star Wars TV show progressing?
It's been exciting because we've had the opportunity to meet over 200 writers. George and I had a fantastic time in England, where we met about 35 or 40 writers. We met a lot in the United States, a couple in Paris, Prague, and Budapest, and then we're off to Australia at the end of July. We're trying to get a group of about five or six people from all around the world. I'm hopefully going to start the writers' conferences later this year. It'll take about six months to get the scripts, so by about 2009 we hope to actually be shooting.
Will you be shooting the show in Australia?
Right now, that's the plan. I think it's going to really depend on where the most effective and cheapest place that we can make it is. Right now, for us, that place is Australia.
How ambitious is the project going to be?
It'll be darker and more mature, and very character based. The idea is to do, say, 13 to 16 episodes over one or two years -- we haven't quite figured that out yet as television is changing so dramatically worldwide. After the second or third year, one of the characters from the first series could move on to his own series. Then, by the fourth or fifth year, we would love to have four or five separate TV series of 13 episodes each running. That's a pipe dream right now, of course! But as long as it's good, and as long as people respond, and as long as we're doing it at the level we need to do it, and people care about the characters, I think that's totally possible.
In terms of distribution, would you prefer broadcast television or something else?
I think it's too early to really say, because what's going to happen over the next few years in TV will be so revolutionary. I hope that we can be part of the process of imploding the television experience. Traditional network TV doesn't really work for us because we don't want to have interrupted storytelling. Cable is definitely a possibility. It's like the battle going on between HD-DVD and BluRay. This is just my opinion here, but they could all become obsolete. The industry could go straight to broadband downloading, with filmmakers creating their own websites where they have their own material that you can download. I really believe that is the future of television, of all entertainment. I still cherish going to the cinema and having that communal experience, but there's no question that it's changing sociologically, quite dramatically.