We're not sure what series creator Jon Favreau did in a past life to have such a good run of luck (knock on wood) with Disney+'s The Mandalorian, but it's paying off. With the second season having recently premiered at the end of October, there are reports that production on the third season could begin in earnest between now and early December. While not officially picked up for a third season, reports that pre-production was underway first surfaced in April 2020. In addition, Deadline Hollywood reports that the series was listed in Production Weekly under the working title "Buccaneer" (let the speculation begin, though neither Lucasfilm nor the streaming service will comment).
There's also a bit of casting confusion underway, with reports that Sophie Thatcher (When the Street Lights Go On, Chicago Med) could be joining the "Star Wars" in one of three ways. First, initial reports are that Thatcher will be joining the third season of The Mandalorian. Another possibility is that the actor may be part of a spinoff series (a possibility then-Disney CEO Bob Iger teased back in February 2020)- with one rumored to include Gina Carano's Cara Dune and Katee Sackhoff's Bo-Katan Kryze (assuming rumors of the Star Wars Rebels character's appearance are true), though nothing is beyond the rumor stage. Then there's Leslye Headland's female-centered series described as a "female-driven action thriller with martial arts elements" that's reportedly set in an alternate timeline from the known "Star Wars" universe (though once again, nothing has been officially confirmed).
Behind the camera, Peyton Reed (Ant-Man), Robert Rodriguez (Sin City), cast member Carl Weathers, Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Bryce Dallas Howard (Dads), and Sam Hargrave (Extraction) will be sharing time with series creator Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni in The Mandalorian director's chair. While the second season of Disney+'s live-action Star Wars spinoff series appears to have gotten off relatively light compared to many COVID-19-impacted productions, Favreau was asked if new health and safety guidelines would make it difficult starting up production on a (for now) hypothetical third season and if he had concerns. As Favreau sees it, the series' reliance on virtual sets/scenes and distance-based production actually lends itself pretty naturally to the "new norms" on sets now:
"The fact that the set is much more contained is a benefit because you can limit the number of people. A lot of the people controlling it are doing it remotely from what we call the Brain Bar, which is a bank of gaming computers, essentially. The amount of people near the camera could be much smaller than [usual]. We also shoot a lot outside, which is helpful, too. We build to a moment in filming more like an animated production, where we have a lot of storyboards, a lot of discussions, and scouting in virtual reality. We use cinematic tools in VR much the same way we did for The Lion King and The Jungle Book. A lot of times the actors you are seeing on the screen aren't actually there on set."