Ever since Disney got its hands on Lucasfilm in 2012, a Boba Fett stand-alone movie was rumored to be in development, the last instance of which had Ford v. Ferrari filmmaker James Mangold attached to direct. Boba Fett the movie never came to be, but in the wake of Solo: A Star Wars Story fizzling at the box office and Disney’s ramping up its streaming service Disney+, it was The Mandalorian that evolved.
The Mandalorian executive producer and director Dave Filoni said during Deadline’s Contenders Television virtual event that no part of the movie ever worked its way into the development of the streaming series. “There wasn’t really any crossover with any previous development,” he said on the panel, which included star Pedro Pascal and director Deborah Chow.
“The Mandalorian idea really starts with Jon Favreau coming forward saying he’d like to develop a concept and talking with Kathleen Kennedy about it,” Filoni said. “She knew I had done a lot of work with Mandalorian people and culture on Clone Wars with George (Lucas) over the years. She always knew that I knew Jon. She called me in when Jon pitched this idea, and he really loved the imagery of a lone gunman and Western. When we were kids, Boba Fett was a ‘Man With No Name.’ Even his publicity stills were evocative of the [Sergio Leone] Dollar trilogy.”
While Lucas had expanded on Boba Fett’s backstory in the feature Episodes I-III, “Some of his mystique had been taken away,” Filoni said. “Jon’s idea was to reimagine that character as a straight-on bounty hunter and take that imagery of the lone gunfighter. The revelation was this idea of this child in a lone-wolf-and-cub sensibility.”
Clint Eastwood and Leone’s spaghetti Westerns also factored into Pascal’s inspiration in prepping to play The Mandalorian, a character he calls “economical, achieving a lot with very little.”
When Pascal got the call to meet up with Favreau, he had no idea it was for a Boba Fett/bounty hunter-theme project; The Narcos actor learned that after he came away from a meeting that was filled with illustrations of the show.
Chow reps the first female director in the Star Wars universe (even before Bryce Dallas Howard directed her episodes), having helmed episodes 3 (“The Sin”) and 7 (“The Reckoning”) of the series, and even with a series that comes armed with a bulk of mythology and pre-conceived concepts, her voice shined on the cutting-edge VFX series.
“What was special about the show, there was a diverse sort of range of people of different backgrounds and points of views,” Chow said. “I don’t think it was by accident. I think Dave and Jon really wanted that. That diversity of point of view really came through, where we were all trying to make the same organic whole, but we all had our own voice in it.”
Check out the panel video above.