The Mandalorin Preview (Star Wars TV Show)
Our first look at The Mandalorin
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away
Never has the opening to A New Hopes crawl taken on more relevance with the news of The Mandalorian, for what seems like eons people have cried out for a Star Wars TV show but the massive budget needed for one always seemed to be the key factor in stopping its development.
Way back in 2010 George Lucas was already talking about making at Star Wars TV show, after he sold all the rights to Disney in 2013 everything went a little quiet on the TV front. Finally in late 2017 Disney chairman Bob Iger announced that they were producing a Star Wars show that would be exclusive to Disney's soon to be named streaming service.
In March 2018 it was confirmed Iron Man director Jon Favreau would be writing and executive producing the series that was confirmed for ten episodes with an estimated budget of $100 million. Favreau also mentioned that story would take place on the outer reaches of the solar system between the events of the original trilogy and the rise of the First Order in the new trilogy.
With little information about the show leaking out, all we have to go on so far is pure speculation and the confirmed cast and directors for the show
Pedro Pascal as The Mandalorian?
The question mark next to Pascal's name is because its still not 100% confirmed that he is playing the titular role, though it would seem a given as his role was announced before the rest of the cast. Pascal's stock has been rising steadily for the last few years since he came to prominence as Oberyn Martell in HBO's Game of Thrones & taking the lead as Javier Pena in Netflix's Narco's.
On the big screen he's largely hued to action films such as Kingsman 2 The Golden Circle and The Equaliser 2, though he's also featured in Oscar fare such as If Beale Street Could Talk and has an unnamed role in next years Wonder Woman 1984 (yet released in 2020).
Pascal is a perfect choice I we assume that The Mandalorian is going to be an intergalactic outlaw of some kind, many are hoping that he will be related to or even is Boba Fett simply done to the mentions of Mandalorian armour in the original trilogy. We know he has the charisma from his role in Game of Thrones and also that he can lead a series from his work on Narco's, also his profile is not so big at the moment that he can be signed up for multiple seasons of the show once it airs and is a monster success as expected.
Abtahi is an Iranian born American actor who has been working solidly throughout the last decade from making his start getting typecast in shows such as 24, Sleeper Cell & Homeland. In more recent times he has begun to break away from being cast simply because of his ethnicity and scored weightier roles in shows like Better Call Saul, Shameless & The Crossing.
Though it was most likely his role in American Gods last year as Salim in the episode Head Full of Snow that garnered the most critical acclaim, playing a young immigrant selling trinkets for his family when he meets The Jinn in the guise of a taxi driver. They talk, bond and make love and when Salim wakes the next morning the Jinn is gone and Salim takes his clothes and taxi saying 'I do not grant wishes'.
It is a brilliant scene and performance from Abtahi and he will soon be seen in Season 2 of American Gods before we see him the in The Mandalorian.
Former MMA fighter Carano has been building a steady career for herself in Hollywood since first coming to prominence in Steven Soderberghs Haywire almost a decade ago. Since then she has been mainly sticking to her genre of tough fighting woman roles in films such as Kickboxer Vengeance & Deadpool, so far she has not really been tested in terms of her acting ability rather relying on roles that play to her legit fighting background. While no details about her role were given surely its a given that she is going to be some kind of intergalactic outlaw similar to our hero, or she's whatever passes for an imperial in this timeline.
Giancarlo Esposito came to everyones attention as the big bad in Breaking Bad Gustavo 'Gus' Fring, fried chicken and meth kingpin. He more than matched Bryan Cranston's Walter White throughout his time on Breaking Bad but has been acting for almost forty years. He began with small roles in 1980's classics like The Cotton Club, Do The Right Thing, Night on Earth, Malcolm X & The Usual Suspects, however these were usually minor roles that didn't fully utilise Esposito's talents.
After Breaking Bad's success Esposito was in demand and he was cast as one of the villainous leads in short lived sci fi show Revolution, to a great turn in Baz Lurhmanns The Get Down as an angry preacher. He joined long running fantasy show Once Upon A Time for a few seasons as Sidney Glass and reprised his role of Gus Fring in spin off show Better Call Saul.
Esposito has a massive raft of projects still to come with roles in the upcoming DC Show Stargirl, ABC's The Godfather of Harlem & new Carlo Gugino starrer Jett where he is the only other announced cast member.
Yes you read that correctly, legendary German film director Herzog is signing on as an actor for The Mandalorian. The acclaimed director of classics such as Aguirre, Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo & Grizzly Man to name but a few in a career spanning six decades is stepping in front of the camera rather than behind it.
It's a frankly baffling decision when you take into account Herzog's artistic sensibilities that have never been commercial in the least, he has acted before usually playing himself or exaggerated versions of himself in animated shows such as The Simpsons & Rick & Morty.
It must be Herzog's role in Christoper McQuarrie's Jack Reacher as the Zec, that the average audience member might know him from. The films main villain who barely moves from a solitary chair and orchestrates all the chaos, he is still undoubtedly terrifying. For a man who has never followed the conventional route to anything, it actually makes a kind of logic that he would end up acting in one of the biggest franchises of all time as it would be the last thing we'd expect him to do.
Filling the grizzled veteran role we have Nick Nolte probably best known for his roles in Oscar nominated fare such as The Prince of Tides, Warrior & Affliction. Nolte has had a long and varied career starting off in the 1970's with many TV roles most notably in shows like Barnaby Jones, Gunsmoke & the Emmy nominated Rich Man Poor Man, it was not until 48 Hours with Eddie Murphy in 1982 that he began making inroads on the silver screen.
He has worked steadily throughout his career transition between TV & cinema at ease, a quick look at his IMDB page and he is always working. It's almost a given that again Nolte will play the grizzled mentor role in The Mandalorian most likely as a surrogate father figure to the titular character, or I could be completely wrong and he could be a Sith Lord!
Emily has been making a name for herself even since the start of her career with blink and you'll miss it roles in acclaimed shows like Flight of the Conchords and the cancelled way too soon Jericho. Since then roles on shows like Southland & The Mentalist have raised her profile, I remember her mostly from her turn as the not wholly evil Amara in Supernatural, since then she's kept busy voicing Lisa in Netflix's new Castlevania adaptation so The Mandalorin will definitely be a step up in terms of scope and public profile.
Any excuse to post a picture of Apollo Creed himself, The Mandalorin is certainly stocking up on some quality older actors for the show. Weathers acted most of the major TV shows of the 1970's such as The Six Million Dollar Man, Kung Fu, S.W.A.T and Starsky & Hutch, but it was his role as the cocky world champion boxer Apollo Creed in the Rocky films that really brought Weathers to mainstream success.
He has continued to succeed throughout his career most with a long stint on Chicago Fire & spinoff Chicago PD, one of his more memorable roles was playing an over the top version of himself in Arrested Development .
And the directing talent...
With a project of this size Disney has done a great job of assembling a varied mix of directors for the first season. Jon Fareau is directing the pilot and is show runner, Thor Ragnorak's Taika Waititi is onboard which has fans salivating about what he can do in the Star Wars universe.
I thought it was a misprint when I read that Bryce Dallas Howard was directing an episode, surely I thought they meant her father director of Solo Ron Howard would be directing but no sources confirm it is indeed Bryce not Ron directing on the show.
Next we have Dave Filoni creator of the animated Star Wars Rebels & Resistance shows making his Iive action bow with The Mandalorin, obviously a long term Lucasfilm employee Filoni is a trusted hand whose lore of the extended universe will be priceless as the show continues.
Next is Rick Famuyiwa who has the smallest list of credits to date most notable for his film Dope, that was a coming of age story about life in a tough Inglewood neighbourhood that focused on kids who wanted to get away to college.
Finally is Deborah Chow who had started with guests directing spots on shows such as Mr Robot, The Vampire Diaries & Reign. Since then its been a veritable whose who of big name shows from Jessica Jones, Fear the Walking Dead, Iron Fist, The Man in the High Castle, Lost in Space & Better Call Saul. Chow is currently at the top of her game will be a great add to the directors list.