While Warner Bros. can hype up Shazam! all they want, it’s pretty clear that the two major franchises to dominate pop culture in 2019 will be Star Wars and Marvel, and on the set of The Mandalorian, those two worlds recently collided.
As the writer of the upcoming Star Wars spinoff show and the director of the first two Iron Man movies, Jon Favreau has some notable experience in each of these blockbuster properties, and in a recently shared photo, the filmmaker offered a welcome throwback to his MCU days, posing alongside Ant-Man and the Wasp helmsman Peyton Reed, Thor: Ragnarok’s Taika Waititi, and Avengers: Infinity War co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo on the California set of Favreau’s latest project.
This meeting of Marvel talent came up earlier this week in a Q&A hosted by the Russo Brothers. And while the pair were characteristically careful about dropping spoilers, whatever Joe Russo saw on his visit behind the scenes of The Mandalorian has got him feeling pretty excited.
“It’s amazing. We went down there to say hi to Jon [Favreau]. Taika [Waititi] was directing an episode, so we went to hang out with them,” Russo recalled. “Jon is always at the forefront of cutting edge tech, and he is shooting this in a way that no one has ever shot anything ever before. It’s pretty astounding.”
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Needless to say, Joe Russo is a fan of the franchise, but while the idea of working on a Star Wars movie sounds appealing to the director, he admits that his hands are full for the time being.
“We grew up on Star Wars like everyone else did. I went to the theater when I was 11 years old to see [Star Wars: The] Empire Strikes Back and sat in the theater from 11:30 in the morning until 10:00 at night and watched it back to back to back. So it was a huge influence on us growing up,” Russo said. “Of course we’d love to work, at some point, in the Star Wars universe, but right now our heads are in the middle of another movie.”
But to go back to Russo’s comments on The Mandalorian, it sounds like Favreau is trying something a little different on a technical level. If so, then it’ll probably be a long wait before we find out if the fresh approach pays off, but given the flair that the director showed for CG characters in The Jungle Book – not to mention the first trailer for The Lion King – there’s reason to believe that Russo isn’t just playing the hype game for the sake of an old MCU alumnus.