Genre fans already had plenty to get excited about when Game of Thrones alum Pedro Pascal was tapped to play the titular role in Jon Favreaus upcoming live-action Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian. But in announcing the seriess full, star-studded, and eclectic cast list Wednesday, Lucasfilm has made it clear that its targeting more than just your average sci-fi/fantasy nerd.
Pascals character is now being described as “a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy”—but as this cast list reveals, he wont be alone for long. Co-stars like Omid Abtahi (American Gods) and Emily Swallow (Supernatural) make a good deal of sense; both recently played otherworldly creatures on their respective genre shows. Beyond them, though, things get a little less predictable—and a lot more fun. For action fans old and new, the cast includes former professional athletes-turned-actors Gina Carano (Deadpool, Haywire) and Carl Weathers (Arrested Development, Predator). Old-school movie fans will delight in knowing that Nick Nolte will be lending his increasingly gravelly delivery to the show. Prestige-TV devotees may rejoice in seeing Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, Westworld, Better Call Saul) on the list, while simply everyone can celebrate the truly bizarre news that frequent director and occasional actor, Werner Herzog (Jack Reacher), will be bringing his distinct style to a galaxy far, far away.
That this lineup would be somewhat diverse is no surprise, given the current casting philosophy at Lucasfilm. This odd mix of players will hopefully complement an equally broad mix of directors—Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Bryce Dallas Howard (Solemates), Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), and Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels). Nolte and Herzog, in particular, have become known for their unpredictable, outside-the-box performances; the notion of both of them in one project is almost overwhelming.
The crew will have a lush world to play in as well. According to The New York Times, The Mandalorian will be operating on a budgetary scale similar to that of the later seasons of Game of Thrones. At a budget of about $100 million for its first 10-episode season, Favreaus special-effects-heavy series will outstrip the roughly $90 million HBO is putting up for D.B. Weiss and David Benioff to deliver the six final episodes of Thrones.
There are no further details yet on whom any of these actors are playing, whether they will be recognizably themselves or C.G.I. creatures, or what the plot of the show will be. We can only collectively cross our fingers and toes that Herzog is playing some kind of wisdom-dispensing Jedi Master. The series is currently in production, and will air exclusively on Disney+—the Walt Disney Companys upcoming direct-to-consumer streaming service—which is set to launch in the U.S. in late 2019.
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