Spider-Man: No Way Home's Jon Watts Developing Amblin-Inspired Star Wars Series

Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts may be taking a short break from Marvel, but he isn't going too far. According to a new report, Watts and writer Chris Ford (with whom Watts collaborated on a number of indie projects, a swell as the script for Spider-Man: Homecoming) are developing a new series set in the Star Wars universe. Unlike the series currently airing or in active production, it sounds like this one will not lean on continuity from the existing movies and TV series. Instead, the project -- code-named "Grammar Rodeo" -- is patterned after Amblin films of the 1980s and will center on four pre-teens growing up after the fall of the Empire.

The series, like The Mandalorian, will take place before the rise of the First Order, but it sounds like it will be a good deal lighter in tone than The Mandalorian is. Even that codename is borrowed from an episode of The Simpsons.

Per Vanity Fair, "its plot remains a secret....A casting notice has called for four children, around 11 to 12 years old. Inside Lucasfilm, the show is being described as a galactic version of classic Amblin coming-of-age adventure films of the '80s."

The '80s Amblin feel is something that filmmakers have been trying to replicate ever since, usually with limited success, but there is reason to believe Watts could pull it off. After all, the wide-eyed sense of wonder and fun that helped shape movies like The Goonies, was on full display in his Spider-Man trilogy. Even though that aspect of Tom Holland's Peter was introduced in Captain America: Civil War, Watts and company continued it on strong.

It's likely that same sense of exuberance that made Watts a candidate for Marvel's Fantastic 4, a gig he left shortly before the property was teased in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Whether he left specifically to work on the Star Wars project, or there's something else at play, is anybody's guess. Fans, of course, have been hoping that Watt's departure would open up a slot for A Quiet Place director John Krasinski to direct and star in the film. If that were to happen, Krasinski would be the first actor to appear in a Marvel movie and direct it since Jon Favreau in the first two Iron Man films.

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No word yet on when Watts and Ford's vision for a galaxy far, far away might go in front of cameras, but with a casting notice out, and Watts stepping back from directing features for a while, it seems likely it could be soon.