It’s late August and I’ve come to Anaheim, California, for D23—a three-day occasion the place Disney executives will announce programming for the corporate’s new Netflix killer, Disney+, a streaming service launching in November. Some 7,000 followers (many in costume) are seated inside a conference middle, ready for his or her favourite stars to return out on stage and wave. It’s like Comedian-Con for anybody who will get a boner for Donald Duck. Or perhaps it’s the world’s costliest pep rally.
And everyone seems to be taking part in ball. Among the many boldfaced names I see: Marvel president Kevin Feige; Avengers stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany; Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi; and funnyman Billy Eichner and Anna Kendrick, his co-star in Noelle, a brand new comedy about what occurs to Christmas when Santa Claus has a nervous breakdown. In the meantime, everybody’s speaking about Angelina Jolie and whether or not she’ll present as much as promote Marvel’s The Eternals.
As for me, I’m supposed to fulfill Ewan McGregor someplace within the bowels of this cavernous corridor. If he’s onerous to search out, that’s by design. The dude’s been instructed to make himself scarce, lest he spoil in the present day’s huge shock. The web’s been rife with hypothesis for weeks, however he’s about to make it official: After a 15-year absence from the Star Wars universe, McGregor is about to reprise his function as Obi-Wan Kenobi in a brand new TV collection.
“It’s a fucking large aid,” he tells me once I’m lastly ushered into his trailer. “As a result of for 4 years, I’ve been having to mislead individuals about it.”
At 48, the boyish enthusiasm that made him a star nonetheless registers giant. Behind the pale eyes and that thick mane of hair, wearing black denims and a black T-shirt, he nonetheless feels just like the optimist from Trainspotting who—within the face of dependancy—determined to “select life.” He emotes just like the lovesick poet from Moulin Rouge who sang an Elton John tune to a cynical Nicole Kidman. And if he’s feeling significantly optimistic in the present day, it is sensible: Whereas Hollywood is in severe flux and white males of sure age are (lastly!) being pushed apart for recent and various views, McGregor’s weathered the tide, with a slew of potential franchises coming, together with the Suicide Squad spin-off, Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), plus this month’s long-awaited sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, Physician Sleep.