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How ‘The Mandalorian’ is Revolutionizing Virtual Production and Reducing its Carbon Footprint

During the final episode of Variety‘s Sustainability in Hollywood event presented by Toyota Mirai, Rob Bredow, senior vice president and chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic, and Janet Lewin, senior vice president and general manager at ILM and co-producer of “The Mandalorian,” talked to Artisans editor Jazz Tangcay about how the virtual production of “The Mandalorian” has allowed the show to reduce its carbon footprint.

When Bredow and Lewin were first approached to sign on to “The Mandalorian,” producer Jon Favreau had just wrapped two virtual production-based films, including the live-action “The Lion King.” And with his upcoming project, Favreau and the team hoped to use virtual reality tools to create an authentic story from the “Star Wars” universe.

Lewin said the key to creating a live-action film through virtual production is “moving post-production to pre-production,” which means creating and editing the backdrops prior to shooting.

Breaking down the process of virtual production, Bredow explained, “You can bring these locations — these amazing desert locations, these amazing buildings that you would probably never be able to take a crew of 100 or 200 people to, because they just might not be suitable for that big of a team.” She added, “But you can bring these amazing locations into our Stagecraft (virtual production platform) set and reproduce them, make changes to them, make them appropriate for “Star Wars” and put them up on the wall, so the director of photography can directly photograph it.”

Lewin added advances in virtual production have changed the creative team’s workflow. Rather than relocating the cast and crew from one location to another, “The Mandalorian” team shot half of the series on one Stagecraft that provided more than 60 backdrops. Some scenes were shot in a small backlot, Lewin said, especially when the team working in a virtual environment wanted a bit of sunlight to brighten up their day.

By reducing set construction and relocation costs, the production was also able to cut down on carbon emissions by 30 tons, the equivalent of 39 acres of trees for a year, according to Bredow. With lighting, the team used LED-powered lights that use 70% less energy than the equivalent incandescent light. For the physical components of the set, the production designers also used foam and luan, materials that are less harmful to the environment.

Despite creating the upcoming season remotely, due to coronavirus-forced shutdowns, Lewin said the show’s virtual production allowed the team to easily collaborate from home. “The way that we can approach our reduced footprint onset is very appealing to everyone who’s wanting to get back into production,” she said. “It’s not a one size fits all. We can tailor the way in which the production wants to use virtual production, so it could be for a couple of days or it can be for 20 weeks. So I think it’s a really exciting time for virtual production in that regard.”

 

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Discussion Starter #822
Inside ILM: Creating the Razor Crest

really cool video...great seeing legends like Doug Chiang!

 

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Disney Is Releasing a 1,000-Piece Baby Yoda Lego Set to Celebrate The Mandalorian Season 2

Trends may come and go, but the Baby Yoda hype is here to stay. With the release of season two of The Mandalorian merely weeks away, it’s safe to say that love for 2019’s breakout pop culture icon is only going to heat up again. And for fans who want to score new Baby Yoda or Mando-themed merchandise this fall, Disney is making your dreams come true.



Disney and Lucasfilm have announced “Mando Mondays,” a nine weeks-long celebration of all things Mandalorian that entails weekly launches of new toys, collectibles, clothing, books, and more. The inaugural Mando Monday kicks off on October 26 (four days before The Mandalorian’s season two premiere), but shoppers can already pre-order the first week’s products now — including a new Baby Yoda Lego kit that comes with more than 1,000 pieces.

This Lego kit, which allows fans to build their own 7.5-inch tall Baby Yoda, comes just in time for the early holiday season and will ship at the end of October. It even comes with movable ears and a twistable head, as well as The Child’s favorite toy from the series: a gear shift knob from Mando’s Razor Crest gunship.

Of course, this Baby Yoda Lego set isn’t the only Mando Monday collectible you can pre-order on Amazon. Shoppers have already propelled themed Funko Pops to become best-sellers on the retailer’s site, including this figurine of Mando flying while holding The Child, as well as a 10-inch version of our bounty-hunting protagonist. There’s even one of a Gamorrean fighter, famous for being the lackeys of Jabba the Hutt.

Apart from Funko Pops and Lego, fans can also grab Mandalorian Monopoly boards and even limited-edition Polaroid cameras complete with themed film packs. Take a look below at all you can find on Amazon now, before the new season of The Mandalorian premieres.





 

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‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2 Character Posters Arrive



Disney+ has released the character posters for Season 2 of The Mandalorian, which premieres on October 30 after its wildly successful first season that saw the first live-action Star Wars spinoff score 15 Emmy nominations including for Drama Series.

The posters reveal the four main characters from that first season: Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers and The Child (see them below).

The new season of the Lucasfilm-produced returns Pascal as The Mandalorian, aka Din Djarin, and The Child continue their journey through a dangerous galaxy — and away from Imperial Remnant officer Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) — in the tumultuous era after the collapse of the Galactic Empire. Plot details remain a bit of a mystery, but the guest includes Rosario Dawson (reportedly as Ahsoka Tano), Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett, Katee Sackhoff, Michael Biehn and Timothy Olyphant among others.

Directors for the new season include creator/showrunner Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, Weathers, Peyton Reed and Robert Rodriguez. Favreau serves as executive producer along with Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Wilson. Karen Gilchrist is co-executive producer.

Here are the posters, released today:









 

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Did I see Katee Sackoff in that cast list?? Awesome! I loves me some Katee and need something to wash the bitter taste of 'Another Life' out of my mouth. She deserved so much better in her headlining sci-fi series.
 

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Did I see Katee Sackoff in that cast list?? Awesome! I loves me some Katee and need something to wash the bitter taste of 'Another Life' out of my mouth. She deserved so much better in her headlining sci-fi series.
‘Mandalorian’ Season 2: Katee Sackhoff To Play Live-Action Version Of Her ‘Clone Wars’ Character Bo-Katan

 

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Pedro Pascal on Fame and ‘The Mandalorian’: ‘Can We Cut the S— and Talk About the Child?’

When Pedro Pascal was roughly 4 years old, he and his family went to see the 1978 hit movie “Superman,” starring Christopher Reeve. Pascal’s young parents had come to live in San Antonio after fleeing their native Chile during the rise of dictator Augusto Pinochet in the mid-1970s. Taking Pascal and his older sister to the movies — sometimes more than once a week — had become a kind of family ritual, a way to soak up as much American pop culture as possible.

At some point during this particular visit, Pascal needed to go to the bathroom, and his parents let him go by himself. “I didn’t really know how to read yet,” Pascal says with the same Cheshire grin that dazzled “Game of Thrones” fans during his run as the wily (and doomed) Oberyn Martel. “I did not find my way back to ‘Superman.'”

Instead, Pascal wandered into a different theater (he thinks it was showing the 1979 domestic drama “Kramer vs. Kramer,” but, again, he was 4). In his shock and bewilderment at being lost, he curled up into an open seat and fell asleep. When he woke up, the movie was over, the theater was empty, and his parents were standing over him. To his surprise, they seemed rather calm, but another detail sticks out even more.

“I know that they finished their movie,” he says, bending over in laughter. “My sister was trying to get a rise out of me by telling me, ‘This happened and that happened and then Superman did this and then, you know, the earthquake and spinning around the planet.'” In the face of such relentless sibling mockery, Pascal did the only logical thing: “I said, ‘All that happened in my movie too.'”

He had no way of knowing it at the time, of course, but some 40 years later, Pascal would in fact get the chance to star in a movie alongside a DC Comics superhero — not to mention battle Stormtroopers and, er, face off against the most formidable warrior in Westeros. After his breakout on “Game of Thrones,” he became an instant get-me-that-guy sensation, mostly as headstrong, taciturn men of action — from chasing drug traffickers in Colombia for three seasons on Netflix’s “Narcos” to squaring off against Denzel Washington in “The Equalizer 2.”

This year, though, Pascal finds himself poised for the kind of marquee career he’s spent a lifetime dreaming about. On Oct. 30, he’ll return for Season 2 as the title star of “The Mandalorian,” Lucasfilm’s light-speed hit “Star Wars” series for Disney Plus that earned 15 Emmy nominations, including best drama, in its first season. And then on Dec. 25 — COVID-19 depending — he’ll play the slippery comic book villain Maxwell Lord opposite Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and Kristen Wiig in “Wonder Woman 1984.”

The roles are at once wildly divergent and the best showcase yet for Pascal’s elastic talents. In “The Mandalorian,” he must hide his face — and, in some episodes, his whole body — in a performance that pushes minimalism and restraint to an almost ascetic ideal. In “Wonder Woman 1984,” by stark contrast, he is delivering the kind of big, broad bad-guy character that populated the 1980s popcorn spectaculars of his youth.

“I continually am so surprised when everybody pegs him as such a serious guy,” says “Wonder Woman 1984” director Patty Jenkins. “I have to say, Pedro is one of the most appealing people I have known. He instantly becomes someone that everybody invites over and you want to have around and you want to talk to.”

Talk with Pascal for just five minutes — even when he’s stuck in his car because he ran out of time running errands before his flight to make it to the set of a Nicolas Cage movie in Budapest — and you get an immediate sense of what Jenkins is talking about. Before our interview really starts, Pascal points out, via Zoom, that my dog is licking his nether regions in the background. “Don’t stop him!” he says with an almost naughty reproach. “Let him live his life!”

Over our three such conversations, it’s also clear that Pascal’s great good humor and charm have been at once ballast for a number of striking hardships, and a bulwark that makes his hard-won success a challenge for him to fully accept.

Before Pascal knew anything about “The Mandalorian,” its showrunner and executive producer Jon Favreau knew he wanted Pascal to star in it.

“He feels very much like a classic movie star in his charm and his delivery,” says Favreau. “And he’s somebody who takes his craft very seriously.” Favreau felt Pascal had the presence and skill essential to deliver a character — named Din Djarin, but mostly called Mando — who spends virtually every second of his time on screen wearing a helmet, part of the sacrosanct creed of the Mandalorian order.

Convincing any actor to hide their face for the run of a series can be as precarious as escaping a Sarlacc pit. To win Pascal over in their initial meeting, Favreau brought him behind the “Mandalorian” curtain, into a conference room papered with storyboards covering the arc of the first season. “When he walked in, it must have felt a little surreal,” Favreau says. “You know, most of your experiences as an actor, people are kicking the tires to see if it’s a good fit. But in this case, everything was locked and loaded.”

Needless to say, it worked. “I hope this doesn’t sound like me fashioning myself like I’m, you know, so smart, but I agreed to do this [show] because the impression I had when I had my first meeting was that this is the next big s—,” Pascal says with a laugh.

Favreau’s determination to cast Pascal, however, put the actor in a tricky situation: Pascal’s own commitments to make “Wonder Woman 1984” in London and to perform in a Broadway run of “King Lear” with Glenda Jackson barreled right into the production schedule for “The Mandalorian.” Some scenes on the show, and in at least one case a full episode, would need to lean on the anonymity of the title character more than anyone had quite planned, with two stunt performers — Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder — playing Mando on set and Pascal dubbing in the dialogue months later.

Pascal was already being asked to smother one of his best tools as an actor, extraordinarily uncommon for anyone shouldering the newest iteration of a global live-action franchise. (Imagine Robert Downey Jr. only playing Iron Man while wearing a mask — you can’t!) Now he had to hand over control of Mando’s body to other performers too. Some actors would have walked away. Pascal didn’t.

“If there were more than just a couple of pages of a one-on-one scene, I did feel uneasy about not, in some instances, being able to totally author that,” he says. “But it was so easy in such a sort of practical and unexciting way for it to be up to them. When you’re dealing with a franchise as large as this, you are such a passenger to however they’re going to carve it out. It’s just so specific. It’s ‘Star Wars.'” (For Season 2, Pascal says he was on the set far more, though he still sat out many of Mando’s stunts.)

“The Mandalorian” was indeed the next big s—, helping to catapult the launch of Disney Plus to 26.5 million subscribers in its first six weeks. With the “Star Wars” movies frozen in carbonite until 2023 (at least), I noted offhand that he’s now effectively the face of one of the biggest pop-culture franchises in the world. Pascal could barely suppress rolling his eyes.

“I mean, come on, there isn’t a face!” he says with a laugh that feels maybe a little forced. “If you want to say, ‘You’re the silhouette’ — which is also a team effort — then, yeah.” He pauses. “Can we just cut the s— and talk about the Child?”

Yes, of course, the Child — or, as the rest of the galaxy calls it, Baby Yoda. Pascal first saw the incandescently cute creature during his download of “Mandalorian” storyboards in that initial meeting with Favreau. “Literally, my eyes following left to right, up and down, and, boom, Baby Yoda close to the end of the first episode,” he says. “That was when I was like, ‘Oh, yep, that’s a winner!'”

Baby Yoda is undeniably the breakout star of “The Mandalorian,” inspiring infinite memes and apocryphal basketball game sightings. But the show wouldn’t work if audiences weren’t invested in Mando’s evolving emotional connection to the wee scene stealer, something Favreau says Pascal understood from the jump. “He’s tracking the arc of that relationship,” says the showrunner. “His insight has made us rethink moments over the course of the show.” (As with all things “Star Wars,” questions about specifics are deflected in deference to the all-powerful Galactic Order of Spoilers.)

Even if Pascal couldn’t always be inside Mando’s body, he never left the character’s head, always aware of how this orphaned bounty hunter who caroms from planet to planet would look askance at anything that felt too good (or too adorable) to be true.

“The transience is something that I’m incredibly familiar with, you know?” Pascal says. “Understanding the opportunity for complexity under all of the armor was not hard for me.”

When Pascal was 4 months old, his parents had to leave him and his sister with their aunt, so they could go into hiding to avoid capture during Pinochet’s crackdown against his opposition. After six months, they finally managed to climb the walls of the Venezuelan embassy during a shift change and claim asylum; from there, the family relocated, first to Denmark, then to San Antonio, where Pascal’s father got a job as a physician.

Pascal was too young to remember any of this, and for a healthy stretch of his childhood, his complicated Chilean heritage sat in parallel to his life in the U.S. — separate tracks, equally important, never quite intersecting. By the time Pascal was 8, his family was able to take regular trips back to Chile to visit with his 34 first cousins. But he doesn’t remember really talking about any of his time there all that much with his American friends.

“I remember at one point not even realizing that my parents had accents until a friend was like, ‘Why does your mom talk like that?'” Pascal says. “And I remember thinking, like what?”

Besides, he loved his life in San Antonio. His father took him and his sister to Spurs basketball games during the week if their homework was done. He hoodwinked his mother into letting him see “Poltergeist” at the local multiplex. He watched just about anything on cable; the HBO special of Whoopi Goldberg’s one-woman Broadway show knocked him flat. He remembers seeing Henry Thomas in “E.T.” and Christian Bale in “Empire of the Sun” and wishing ardently, urgently, I want to live those stories too.

Then his father got a job in Orange County, Calif. After Pascal finished the fifth grade, they moved there. It was a shock. “There were two really, really rough years,” he says. “A lot of bullying.”

His mother found him a nascent performing arts high school in the area, and Pascal burrowed even further into his obsessions, devouring any play or movie he could get his hands on. His senior year, a friend of his mother’s gave Pascal her ticket to a long two-part play running in downtown Los Angeles that her bad back couldn’t withstand. He got out of school early to drive there by himself. It was the pre-Broadway run of “Angels in America.”

“And it changed me,” he says with almost religious awe. “It changed me.”

After studying acting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Pascal booked a succession of solid gigs, like MTV’s “Undressed” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” But the sudden death of his mother — who’d only just been permitted to move back to Chile a few years earlier — took the wind right from Pascal’s sails. He lost his agent, and his career stalled almost completely.

As a tribute to her, he decided to change his professional last name from Balmaceda, his father’s, to Pascal, his mother’s. “And also, because Americans had such a hard time pronouncing Balmaceda,” he says. “It was exhausting.”

Pascal even tried swapping out Pedro for Alexander (an homage to Ingmar Bergman’s “Fanny and Alexander,” one of the formative films of his youth). “I was willing to do absolutely anything to work more,” he says. “And that meant if people felt confused by who they were looking at in the casting room because his first name was Pedro, then I’ll change that. It didn’t work.”

It was a desperately lean time for Pascal. He booked an occasional “Law & Order” episode, but mostly he was pounding the pavement along with his other New York theater friends — like Oscar Isaac, who met Pascal doing an Off Broadway play. They became fast, lifelong friends, bonding over their shared passions and frustrations as actors.

“It’s gotten better, but at that point, it was so easy to be pigeonholed in very specific roles because we’re Latinos,” says Isaac. “It’s like, how many gang member roles am I going to be sent?” As with so many actors, the dream Pascal and Isaac shared to live the stories of their childhoods had been stripped down to its most basic utility. “The dream was to be able to pay rent,” says Isaac. “There wasn’t a strategy. We were just struggling. It was talking about how to do this thing that we both love but seems kind of insurmountable.”

As with so few actors, that dream was finally rekindled through sheer nerve and the luck of who you know, when another lifelong friend, actor Sarah Paulson, agreed to pass along Pascal’s audition for Oberyn Martell to her best friend Amanda Peet, who is married to “Game of Thrones” co-showrunner David Benioff.

“First of all, it was an iPhone selfie audition, which was unusual,” Benioff remembers over email. “And this wasn’t one of the new-fangled iPhones with the fancy cameras. It looked like s—; it was shot vertical; the whole thing was very amateurish. Except for the performance, which was intense and believable and just right.”

Before Pascal knew it, he found himself in Belfast, sitting inside the Great Hall of the Red Keep as one of the judges at Tyrion Lannister’s trial for the murder of King Joffrey. “I was between Charles Dance and Lena Headey, with a view of the entire f—ing set,” Pascal says, his eyes wide and astonished still at the memory. “I couldn’t believe I didn’t have an uncomfortable costume on. You know, I got to sit — and with this view.” He sighs. “It strangely aligned itself with the kind of thinking I was developing as a child that, at that point, I was convinced was not happening.”

And then it all started to happen.

In early 2018, while Pascal was in Hawaii preparing to make the Netflix thriller “Triple Frontier” — opposite his old friend Isaac — he got a call from the film’s producer Charles Roven, who told him Patty Jenkins wanted to meet with him in London to discuss a role in another film Roven was producing, “Wonder Woman 1984.”

“It was a f—ing offer,” Pascal says in an incredulous whisper. “I wasn’t really grasping that Patty wanted to talk to me about a part that I was going to play, not a part that I needed to get. I wasn’t able to totally accept that.”

Pascal had actually shot a TV pilot with Jenkins that wasn’t picked up, made right before his life-changing run on “Game of Thrones” aired. “I got to work with Patty for three days or something and then thought I’d never see her again,” he says. “I didn’t even know she remembered me from that.”

She did. “I worked with him, so I knew him,” she says. “I didn’t need him to prove anything for me. I just loved the idea of him, and I thought he would be kind of unexpected, because he doesn’t scream ‘villain.'”

In Jenkins’ vision, Max Lord — a longstanding DC Comics rogue who shares a particularly tangled history with Wonder Woman — is a slick, self-styled tycoon with a knack for manipulation and an undercurrent of genuine pathos. It was the kind of larger-than-life character Pascal had never been asked to tackle before, so he did something equally unorthodox: He transformed his script into a kind of pop-art scrapbook, filled with blown-up photocopies of Max Lord from the comic books that Pascal then manipulated through his lens on the character.

Even the few pages Pascal flashes to me over Zoom are quite revealing. One, featuring Max sporting a power suit and a smarmy grin, has several burned-out holes, including through the character’s eye. Another page features Max surrounded by text bubbles into which Pascal has written, over and over and over again in itty-bitty lettering, “You are a f—ing piece of s—.”

“I felt like I had wake myself up again in a big way,” he says. “This was just a practical way of, like, instead of going home tired and putting Netflix on, [I would] actually deal with this physical thing, doodle and think about it and run it.”

Jenkins is so bullish on Pascal’s performance that she thinks it could explode his career in the same way her 2003 film “Monster” forever changed how the industry saw Charlize Theron. “I would never cast him as just the stoic, quiet guy,” Jenkins says. “I almost think he’s unrecognizable from ‘Narcos’ to ‘Wonder Woman.’ Wouldn’t even know that was the same guy. But I think that may change.”

When people can see “Wonder Woman 1984” remains caught in the chaos the pandemic has wreaked on the industry; both Pascal and Jenkins are hopeful the Dec. 25 release date will stick, but neither is terribly sure it will. Perhaps it’s because of that uncertainty, perhaps it’s because he’s spent his life on the outside of a dream he’s now suddenly living, but Pascal does not share Jenkins’ optimism that his experience making “Wonder Woman 1984” will open doors to more opportunities like it.

“It will never happen again,” Pascal says, once more in that incredulous whisper. “It felt so special.”

After all he’s done in a few short years, why wouldn’t Pascal think more roles like this are on his horizon?

“I don’t know!” he finally says with a playful — and pointed — howl. “I’m protecting myself psychologically! It’s just all too good to be true! How dare I!”

 

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One of the most interesting parts of the above interview is Pascal's background, how his parents fled Chile during the rise of Pinochet's murderous dictatorship. Giancarlo Esposito also stars in 'The Mandalorian'. The "hardest working man in show business" (he's in at least 3 currently running series that I'm aware of) also stars as one of TV's all-time greatest villains, Gus Fring, in 'Breaking Bad' and the still running 'Better Call Saul'.

My theory about Fring is that he was one of Pinochet's top generals that fled the country after Pino's fall, finding a new life's work as a drug mastermind and chicken restaurant owner. The show(s) have never filled out Fring's complete backstory so I don't actually know if that's true or not, although they have dropped several clues along the way. I believe one of the cartel guys, maybe Don Elardio or Lalo, might have once referred to him as "the Chilean" for example.

I keep hoping Vince Gilligan will finally tell us during BCS's upcoming final season. An entire flashback episode devoted to filling in that final piece of Gus's backstory would be pretty fringin' awesome.
 

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A ‘Mandalorian’ Movie? Pedro Pascal and Jon Favreau on the Future of the Newest ‘Star Wars’ Franchise

Less than a week after Pedro Pascal wrapped production on Season 2 of “The Mandalorian,” the entire entertainment industry — and much of the world — effectively shut down in the wake of the growing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the new season of the mega-hit “Star Wars” series now set to premiere on Disney Plus on Oct. 30, it appears that Pascal’s titular bounty hunter once again narrowly escaped a Death Star–sized disaster.

It did not quite feel like it at the time.

“I didn’t really stop to consider [the pandemic], because, unfortunately, the news has for me been causing alarm in so many different ways that it was almost just another version of that,” Pascal told Variety during his interview for the Oct. 14 cover story about the actor. “I can’t say that I totally didn’t see it coming, because unconsciously I sort of snapped to it in a way that must have been somewhat prepared. What I wasn’t prepared for is” — his eyes went wide — “six months.”

Soon enough, Pascal will slip on his character’s signature helmet once more. Executive producer and showrunner Jon Favreau told Variety that “The Mandalorian” is “on schedule” to start production on Season 3 of the series “before the end of the year” — after Pascal wraps shooting in Europe on the feature film “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” with Nicolas Cage.

“We’re operating under the assumption that we’ll be able to go forward,” Favreau said. He noted that the innovative production technique pioneered for “The Mandalorian” — with wall-sized video panels for location backdrops — puts the show in a unique position within the industry.

“We’re in very small situations and oftentimes we have a lot of characters in masks,” he said. “And we also have a lot of digital work that augments things. So we’re a show that’s probably well-equipped to be flexible based on the protocols that are emerging surrounding work restarting.”

Those methodologies have allowed “The Mandalorian” to employ the same vast sense of scope as the “Star Wars” feature films while operating within the leaner budget and footprint of a TV production. The results have been nothing short of sensational. The show’s global popularity — thanks in no small part to the instant pop-culture icon Baby Yoda — catalyzed Disney Plus’ massive subscriber growth to over 60.5 million worldwide in less than a year. Within weeks of launching with the service last November, “The Mandalorian” became the new “Star Wars” standard bearer — especially after “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” concluded the nine-film Skywalker Saga with the lowest grosses of Disney’s Skywalker features and outright loathing by many “Star Wars” fans.

In a February earnings call, Disney’s then-CEO Bob Iger said that after the Season 2 premiere of “The Mandalorian,” future seasons will include “the possibility of infusing [the show] with more characters and the possibility of taking those characters in their own direction in terms of series.” In other words, expect “The Mandalorian” to spawn its own “Star Wars” creative universe.

Asked about that possibility last month, Favreau was a bit more cautious.

“I love the world of ‘Star Wars’ because, on the one hand, there’s a familiarity with this sub-genre, but there’s also a tremendous amount of flexibility of which way you can go and genres you could explore within that sub-genre,” Favreau said. “As we’re meeting new characters, and as we’re starting to hit our stride, from a production standpoint with how this technology can be used, we are beginning to explore where we could go.”

Favreau did allow that the faster metabolism of TV production meant Lucasfilm can be more responsive to audience sentiment about the show. “And we could start to expand what we’re doing and our ambitions about what characters we want to follow,” he said.

The filmmaker also said his experience as the inaugural director of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2” has informed his outlook for the future of “The Mandalorian.”

“I learned a lot from my experience over at Marvel, where it was very organic, how it would evolve,” he said. “You’re paying attention to a larger story arcs and characters that could come together, but also smaller stories of individual characters that could go off [on their own thing]. The key here is keep maintaining the quality and never scaling to the point that we’re losing sight of what’s important to us and what people like about the show.”

The first Disney Plus series produced by Marvel Studios, “WandaVision” with Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, is due to premiere later this year, with several more to follow in 2021, and Marvel chief Kevin Feige has said that their storylines will intertwine with the Marvel Studios theatrical features.

Could the same happen with “The Mandalorian”?

“The line is blurring now,” said Favreau. “Things that you would have only seen in the movie theater, you’re seeing on streaming, and I think it could go the other way as well.”

Whether that means Pascal’s tight-lipped bounty hunter could end up on a movie screen remains a tantalizing if uncertain possibility. Favreau said he’s in “no rush” to push the show beyond a streaming series. “But we’re definitely open to it,” he added, “and excited to see where the story leads us and have that flexibility — because there’s no rulebook now.”

“Technology is always offering new opportunities to tell stories in a fresh way,” he added. “It’s a very exciting time to be doing this and I feel very grateful that we’re able to be able to work remotely, because of the nature of the technology that we’re dealing with. So we’re continuing to try to move forward and keep the ball rolling, even though it’s been a challenging time for everyone.”

As for Pascal, the actor said he would “love” to make a “Mandalorian” movie, but he’s heard no discussion of one as of now.

“I think that the work is so beautiful that I would love for that to be held by a big screen experience,” he said. “But it seems to work so well that also I’m not sure it’s something that I would want corrupted by any kind of change, you know? I mean, I certainly know that the challenge can be met. It’s not like these people don’t have the experience. If anybody can do it, they can!”

 

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Discussion Starter #832
I'm debating watching the complete Clone Wars and Rebels animated series prior to Season 2 of Mandalorian...is Rebels better then Clone Wars?
 

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Discussion Starter #834
No, Clone Wars is much better. Watch them in order.
I decided to re-subscribe to Disney+ last night and started my epic first time binge of both Clone Wars and Rebels...I do hear that with Clone Wars it is best to watch it in a specific order so I am doing it that way (it's mostly chronological but the first 5 episodes are in a different order)...so far I've watched the first 2 episodes and the Clone Wars movie 3rd...I'm loving it so far...the animation, story, characters and voice acting are top notch...already much better then the sequel movie trilogy...I'm following this website's info as far as the 'correct' order to watch Clone Wars:

 

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'The Batman' Using 'Mandalorian' Virtual Production Techniques

Industrial Light & Magic's Rob Bredow offered an update during the virtual VIEW confab.
Warner Bros.' The Batman, which is currently filming in the UK, is using virtual production techniques for select scenes, Industrial Light & Magic chief creative officer Rob Bredow revealed on Monday, during a featured session from this year's virtual VIEW visual effects and animation confab.

Virtual production — a term generally used to describe techniques that enable real-time visual effects production — has been steadily growing in popularity, particularly with Jon Favreau's uses on The Lion King and The Mandalorian.

For season one of The Mandalorian, ILM worked with Favreau to configure his system using an LED wall driven by the Unreal real-time game engine. Earlier this year, the VFX company launched "StageCraft," a virtual production unit built around the Mandalorian technique.

Bredow declined to detail work on The Batman, only saying the production design team had pre-built practical sets in the UK and an LED wall was built around these sets to enable use of virtual production in those specific scenes. He added that this meant the ILM team could continue to collaborate with Batman DP Greig Fraser, who recently won an Emmy for The Mandalorian and also shot Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The Batman, from director Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson, is dated for March 4, 2022.

ILM’s StageCraft LED set at Manhattan Beach Studios was again used for season two of The Mandalorian, which debuts Oct. 30 on Disney+. Bredow related that the use of the virtual production techniques was more complex for the upcoming season, as their process was relatively new when they started work on season one.

As previously reported, a StageCraft virtual production stage will also be available at Fox Studios Australia, where it will be used during production of Marvel's Taika Waititi-directed Thor: Love and Thunder. Waititi previously used virtual production when he helmed the final episode of The Mandalorian season one.

ILM additionally provides “pop up” virtual production configurations, as it recently did for Netflix's upcoming sci-fi movie The Midnight Sky, helmed by and starring George Clooney, "to create a location that would be very hard to get to," according to Bredow. Another StageCraft volume is being assembled at Pinewood Studios in London, which is expected to open in February.

During the session, Bredow suggested that the "Holy Grail is that our entire workflow can go real time, with less time waiting for computers to process." He added that companies including ILM and Epic Games (maker of the Unreal Engine) are making "big investments" in such development.

 

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Ewan McGregor donned Obi-Wan Kenobi's costume on the set of The Mandalorian

Ewan McGregor donned his Obi-Wan Kenobi costume on the set of The Mandalorian in preparation for the Kenobi Disney Plus series, according to the actor himself.

In an interview on the podcast Happy Sad Confused, McGregor and English actor Charley Boorman were discussing their motorcycle doc Long Way Up when the conversation shifts to the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney Plus series. Podcast host Josh Horowitz asks McGregor if he's ready to get back into Obi-Wan's robes for the series, which will be directed by Deborah Chow (Chow directed episode 3 and 7 for The Mandalorian season 1). McGregor's answer (and another one shortly after) can be mined for some interesting information:

"Yes. I really am very excited about it. It’s been a long time coming...I am excited about the fact that it’s a series as opposed to a movie, it gives us more space, and mainly I am excited about it because of The Mandalorian series which I just thought was really good, and we’re going to adopt some of that technology that they utilized in that filming and I’m working with Deborah Chow who directed some of Mandalorian. I’m really excited about working with her, I think she’s really good. We did a couple of tests. When we were going to make a film earlier we did some testing and it was great working with her.”

Horowitz then asks if McGregor actually got into character for the camera test. McGregor responds with "We did it properly. It was a funny moment walking on set because it was a lot of The Mandalorian crew and I walked on - for me it was a big moment. I walked into the dressing room and there were my beige cloaks and my belts and boots and it was like - 'oh my god'."

So, it seems likely that Obi-Wan Kenobi himself was walking around the set of The Mandalorian season 1, as Chow hasn't been confirmed as a director for The Mandalorian season 2. It's also important to note that unless there's a flashback sequence (perhaps one involving Rosario Dawson's Ahsoka Tano), it's highly unlikely that Kenobi will make a cameo in the second season of The Mandalorian.

The Mandalorian season 2 gets new trailer ahead of October 30 premiere.

 

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The first Mando Monday is here and it’s just the beginning. Star Wars fans across the globe can join us for a special Star Wars “Mando Mondays” digital event where talent from “The Mandalorian,” including Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers and Giancarlo Esposito, reveal the latest and greatest products and digital content inspired by the Emmy award-winning series. Mando Mondays is an all-new global consumer products, games and publishing program that will debut new goods inspired by the Disney+ program every Monday from now until December 21.

 

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OMG, are they ever going to milk this sucker for every nickel they can. Baby Yoda -- the ultimate child star. But at least an animatronic puppet can't develop a pills & alcohol problem. :LOL:
 
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