The Empire Strikes Back Star Wars

Former Walt Disney Studios executive Tony To has joined Lucasfilm as head of production and development.

He reports to Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm.

“This is such an exciting and creative time at Lucasfilm and I’m overjoyed to have Tony on board,” Kennedy said in announcing To’s hire. “He has unmatched production expertise and a tremendous passion for storytelling. He is a wonderful addition to the fantastic creative team we have in place to develop new content.”

To most recently was executive VP of production at Walt Disney Studios, a post he’s had for the past three years, where he was responsible for physical production of all of the Mouse House’s live action titles, including most recent release “Maleficent.” He also has worked in TV, having produced Tom Hanks’ 1998 miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon” for HBO and Imagine Entertainment, and was co-executive producer alongside Hanks and Steven Spielberg on the network’s 10-part World War II epic “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific.”

To will now oversee all live-action and animation production as Lucasfilm has six new films and several TV projects in various stages of development on its slate. J.J. Abrams is currently directing “Star Wars: Episode VII,” while the “Star Wars Rebels” series will soon air on Disney XD.

The company recently tapped “Godzilla’s” Gareth Edwards and “Chronicle’s” Josh Trank to direct two new standalone films set in the “Star Wars” universe.

In addition to working with Lucasfilm’s production department, run by Jason McGatlin and the creative development team, overseen by Kiri Hart, To also will oversee visual effects studio Industrial Light & Magic, led by Lynwen Brennan and John Knoll, Skywalker Sound, run by Josh Lowden, and Disney’s recently announced co-development program with Shanghai Media Group Pictures to develop Disney-branded movies for China and other markets.

“Lucasfilm has an amazing legacy and an equally amazing future,” To said in a statement. “It is an honor to be a part of such an accomplished and talented team while continuing to work with my esteemed Disney friends and colleagues.”

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more
Comments 1