Director Jon Favreau has already taken his first steps into the realm of the Force, and now he’s venturing further.
The Iron Man and The Jungle Book filmmaker has signed on to write and produce a live-action Star Wars series for Disney’s new direct-to-consumer platform, Lucasfilm announced Thursday.
Favreau previously played the Mandalorian character Pre Vizsla in The Clone Wars animated series and he is providing the voice for a multi-armed alien (rumored to have the Western-sounding name of Rio Durant) in Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story.
His series will be released on Disney’s new direct-to-consumer streaming platform, but no date for the project was set and no chronology or setting for the story was confirmed.
“If you told me at 11 years old that I would be getting to tell stories in the Star Wars universe, I wouldn’t have believed you. I can’t wait to embark upon this exciting adventure,” Favreau said in a statement.
He is currently giving The Jungle Book‘s hybrid live-action computer-animation treatment to a new version of The Lion King, which will hit theaters in 2019.
“Jon brings the perfect mix of producing and writing talent, combined with a fluency in the Star Wars universe,” said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “This series will allow Jon the chance to work with a diverse group of writers and directors and give Lucasfilm the opportunity to build a robust talent base.”
That comment seems to be aimed at the criticism the company has gotten over hiring directors and filmmakers who are so far exclusively white and male.
That concern became especially acute last month when David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who brought the epic world of George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones to television, signed on to write and produce a new series of Star Wars films.
Kennedy, who herself is one of the most powerful executives in the film industry, female or otherwise, has said she intends to recruit more women to direct the company’s projects and has pointed out that half of Lucasfilm’s executive team is comprised of women, while most of its story group, headed by senior vice president of development Kiri Hart, is also female.
The company’s latest projects, from The Force Awakens, to Rogue One and The Last Jedi, and its animated Rebels series have been praised for featuring increasingly diverse casts with women in lead roles.
On the other side, some “men’s rights” activists have grumbled about the number of high profile women in the new stories, although those complaints have been largely dismissed as petty and irrelevant by the broader Star Wars fanbase.