So it seems like this week is the week, The Mandalorian fans. After learning last week that the Disney+ Star Wars spinoff series would be returning for a second season on October 30th, we're now getting our first set of preview images. The good news is that we see a lot of familiar faces back, from Pedro Pascal's Din Djarin aka The Mandalorian and his sidekick The Child aka Baby Yoda to Giancarlo Esposito's darksaber-wielding Moff Gideon and COVID shutdown laws-hating Gina Carano's Cara Dune. The not-so-good news? Looks like we'll have to wait until this week's teaser/trailer drops (pretty certain) to see if Rosario Dawson, Timothy Olyphant, Temuera Morrison, Katee Sackhoff, Michael Biehn, and/or Sasha Banks were more rumor than fact. We do know that Peyton Reed (Ant-Man), Robert Rodriguez (Sin City), cast member Carl Weathers, Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Bryce Dallas Howard (Dads), and Sam Hargrave (Extraction) are joining series creator Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni behind the camera.
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."