Jon Watts in Talks to Direct New Star Wars Series for Disney+ (EXCLUSIVE)

We have learned that Jon Watts is in talks to direct at least one episode of an upcoming mysteriously unannounced Star Wars series for Disney+, with plans to begin filming sooner than you might think.

The currently unannounced series is going under the working title of Grammar Rodeo with production slated to begin this Summer in Los Angeles. While we haven’t been able to gather any concrete information on who will be writing this new project, we’ve heard from a handful of sources that Jon Favreau will be executive producing. Favreau, of course, is an executive producer and writer on The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, and will soon be additionally credited as an executive producer on Ahsoka, which is at the moment in pre-production for a filming start within the next couple of months.

Sources tell us that talks with Jon Watts on directing at least one episode of this classified Star Wars series are dependent on his busy schedule. Following the major success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which has currently earned over $1.8 billion at the worldwide box office, Jon Watts has 3 hefty projects ahead of him – directing the Fantastic Four revamp for Marvel Studios, producing Final Destination 6 for New Line and HBO Max, and writing/directing a new untitled thriller for Apple TV+ starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Clooney and Pitt are set to play two lone wolf fixers who are assigned to the same job.

Jon Watts on the set of ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home
courtesy of Sony

It is still unknown when Jon Watt’s Apple TV+ thriller will begin production and if it would cause scheduling issues with his ability to take on directing reigns of any episode of a Star Wars series. Nevertheless, Watts is no stranger to the world of television. He recently shot the pilot of The Old Man for FX, starring Jeff Bridges in his first television role in 5 decades. The Old Man follows a former CIA officer (Bridges) who is living off the grid and finds himself on the run from those hunting him down. FX announced earlier this week that The Old Man will premiere later this year, so fans won’t have to wait long to get a taste of Jon Watts’ television work.

Even though plot details are very scarce, The Illuminerdi recently uncovered casting breakdowns for this mysterious Star Wars series that lists young lead roles between the ages of 11 to 12, as well as an older 30 to 40-year-old man. Murphy’s Multiverse backs this report, saying their research found that Lucasfilm is looking to cast someone between the age of 10 to 12 for this new show. They also add that shooting will wrap in December, and Bespin Bulletin reports that the project will begin filming in the Summer at Manhattan Beach Studios, which backs what we heard about Lucasfilm already preparing crew hopefully for an early Summer production start.

As for when this could be set within the Star Wars timeline, Cinelinx reports that Grammar Rodeo is the working title for a show set during The High Republic era that has been described as “Stranger Things in Space.” Assuming that all of this information is correct, we would predict that the story could be following young Jedi padawans and a Jedi master during this unique period in the Star Wars universe. This would not be the first frontier into live-action storytelling for The High Republic as The Acolyte will be set during the final days of this era, focusing on the emerging dark-side powers that lead into The Phantom Menace. The Acolyte is currently in pre-production from Russian Doll writer Leslye Headland and will star Amandla Stenberg, best known from The Hunger Games and The Hate U Give, in the leading role. Stenberg can be next seen in A24’s slasher film Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, which premieres at SXSW next month.

Hopefully, we can expect more news about this unannounced series in the foreseeable future before production begins. Lucasfilm is set to have a major year of content rollout and development in 2022, this includes the forthcoming release of Obi-Wan Kenobi on May 25 as well as the TBA 2022 releases of Andor and season 2 of The Bad Batch. The next season of The Mandalorian is actually nearing a wrap on production, although it is unknown if it will premiere in 2022 or 2023.

Ahsoka will then begin filming sometime this Spring. That cast is already starting to get filled, including Rosario Dawson and Hayden Christensen reprising their roles as Ahsoka and Anakin, and the live-action debut of Sabine Wren played by Natasha Liu Bordizzo. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ray Stevenson, and Ivanna Sakhno will tag along in yet to be revealed supporting roles. The Acolyte is planned to begin filming soon in the U.K., and then Andor is said to be returning for a second season that will be also filming in the U.K. in the Fall of this year.

Read our Spider-Man: No Way Home Review: Full of Heart and Nostalgia

Follow EIC Jacob Fisher on Twitter: @JacobDFilm

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