Star Wars fans who walked out of The Rise of Skywalker wondering what’s next for the saga just got their answer. Lucasfilm recently announced Taika Waititi would be making the jump from directing The Mandalorian‘s Season 1 finale to his own theatrical Star Wars film.
While Lucasfilm has not released many details, Waititi’s hiring might reveal the studio’s plan going forward. After so many behind-the-scenes issues with directors, perhaps filmmakers are being gradually promoted from Star Wars shows to the film side of things.
Such an approach allows executives to gauge how well a director grasps the universe as well as the fan response. It’s a lot easier — and more cost-effective — to audition filmmakers on The Mandalorian than handing them a $275 million movie outright. If that’s the idea, here’s which other The Mandalorian directors might be next.
Producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni are probably next in line
Taking a look at The Mandalorian Season 1, the most obvious creative minds to jump to the big screen are those at the top. Jon Favreau is the credited creator of the Disney+ series. While he hasn’t directed any episodes of the show yet, he did write six of the eight episodes.
Moreover, Favreau has more than proven himself to Disney, with huge hits like The Lion King, The Jungle Book, and Iron Man. Favreau is already set to make his directorial debut in the “galaxy far, far away” in The Mandalorian Season 2. So it feels inevitable he’ll take on a Star Wars movie down the line.
Likewise, Dave Filoni has been steadily working his way up the franchise. As the creative force behind Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels, Filoni seems ready to assume greater leadership in the series’ future. Plus, he directed the 2008 animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars film.
Deborah Chow is already working on the Obi-Wan Disney+ show
As the first women to ever direct live-action Star Wars, Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard are also strong contenders. For now, the former seems entrenched in the Disney+ side of Star Wars. Chow will direct and serve as an executive producer on the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series. So if she does get offered the reins to a movie, it won’t happen for a while.
And Howard still feels too unproven as a filmmaker to jump directly into a Star Wars movie. After all, her only previous feature directorial credit is the 2019 documentary Dads. Appropriately, her Oscar-winning father, Ron Howard, directed Lucasfilm’s Willow in 1988 and Solo: A Star Wars Story in 2018. So Howard will probably follow in her father’s footsteps eventually.
Then there’s Rick Famuyiwa. Like Chow and Filoni, he took on two episodes of The Mandalorian Season 2. But his filmmaking experience dates back to 1999’s comedy-drama The Wood. After 2015’s indie hit Dope, Warner Bros. even brought Famuyiwa on to direct The Flash. He ultimately left the project. But now the DC Extended Universe’s loss could be Star Wars‘ gain.
Peyton Reed and Robert Rodriguez joined ‘The Mandalorian’ season 2
Waititi might be the first filmmaker to leap from The Mandalorian to a Star Wars movie. But he’s unlikely to be the last. After all, Favreau is already a blockbuster filmmaker, and Famuyiwa feels on the cusp of his own major franchise breakout. Either one could be ready to make the jump into Star Wars movie hyperspace at anytime.
But The Mandalorian Season 2 introduces even more contenders. In addition to actor Carl Weather — who plays Greef Karga — Peyton Reed and Robert Rodriguez are among those taking on the director’s chair. Reed most recently steered the Ant-Man series to success. And Rodriguez has decades of beloved geek properties behind him, including 2019’s Alita: Battle Angel.
With such big-name talent coming to The Mandalorian, Disney and Lucasfilm could be counting on the show to do a lot more than drive Disney+ subscriptions. If Waititi’s movie is a success, fans can probably expect Lucasfilm to continue to promote in-house. What this all means for all the other Star Wars movies in development, however, is anyone’s guess.