“The Mandalorian,” the first live-action “Star Wars” television series, made its long-awaited world premiere less than 48 hours ago but Disney is already keeping the door open for some kind of theatrical adaptation. The show is created by “Iron Man” and “The Lion King” filmmaker Jon Favreau and stars Pedro Pascal as a masked bounty hunter whose latest target upends his allegiance to his sinister employers. Carl Weathers, Werner Herzog, Gina Carano, and Giancarlo Esposito co-star. Considering its “Star Wars” roots, “The Mandalorian” is easily the biggest original to launch on Disney+ and Favreau is already developing a second season.
During Variety’s recent Business Managers Breakfast in Beverly Hills, Walt Disney Studios’ chief creative officer and co-chairman Alan Horn said “The Mandalorian” is already becoming a big deal with “Star Wars” fans and therefore some variation of a theatrical adaptation for the show is not entirely off the table. Horn suggested he’s even open to the show being re-edited into a theatrical presentation.
“‘The Mandalorian’ is already proving to be a big thing,” Horn told the audience, “so if that series proves to be so compelling that we reverse engineer it into a theatrical release, a two-hour film or whatever, O.K.”
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While it may sound odd to figure out a way to turn existing “Mandalorian” episodes into a feature film, there’s already a precedent for doing this kind of thing in the “Star Wars” franchise. The 2008 animated movie “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” was created by tethering together four episodes of Dave Filoni’s animated series of the same name. The episodes were made for the TV series but reworked into a movie, which then served as an introduction into new episodes of “The Clone Wars” show.
Nearly all of the reviews for “The Mandalorian” mention the series’ jaw-dropping cinematic visuals, with many critics writing that the show would dazzle on the big screen. Filoni, who also created the animated show “Star Wars Rebels,” directed the pilot episode of “The Mandalorian.” Other installments are directed by the likes of Deborah Chow (“Mr. Robot”), Rick Famuyiwa (“Dope”), and Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit,” “Thor: Ragnarok”). Bryce Dallas Howard is also making her directorial debut by helming the series’ fourth episode.
IndieWire television critic Ben Travers was mostly a fan of “The Mandalorian” pilot episode, writing in his review, “In a way, it’s quite satisfying to see a much-anticipated, heavily guarded pilot episode be executed with such efficiency. Characters are introduced with clarity. The story as told is simple and effective. Patterns are established in order to be consciously subverted, creating visceral surprises and substantial twists. By the time Jon Favreau wraps his first episode, the creator and writer has constructed a clear path forward and an enticing relationship worth watching unfold.”
The second episode of “The Mandalorian” debuts Friday, November 15. New episodes will continue to rollout each Friday through December.