The Jon Favreau-created The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars series, is “unlike anything audiences have seen before on any platform,” according to The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger. When its premiere episode launches alongside the Disney+ streaming service, available in the U.S. starting Nov. 12, The Mandalorian will be exemplary of the quality storytelling that will come to define Disney+, Iger says. Reportedly budgeted at $15 million per episode, the eight-episode first season has already convinced Disney to initiate development on a second. Disney’s investment in The Mandalorian comes as Lucasfilm refocuses its effort on the television side of the franchise: following the conclusion of the episodic Skywalker Saga with Episode IX, The Rise of Skywalker, Lucasfilm will recalibrate as it puts a pause on releasing Star Wars movies.
“The first live-action Star Wars series is unlike anything audiences have seen before on any platform and it’s a strong indication of the quality in the storytelling that will define Disney+,” Iger said during Disney’s fourth quarter earnings call Thursday.
After screening a “significant portion” of the premiere, directed by animation veteran Dave Filoni in his live-action directorial debut, The Mandalorian was received by “extremely positive reaction” that is “driving tremendous buzz around this extraordinary series ahead of its debut on Disney+,” Iger said on the call.
The Mandalorian is the first of three Star Wars series in the works for Disney+. Also headed to the service is the untitled Rogue One: A Star Wars Story prequel centered around Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and an untitled series centered around Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor).
Iger also confirmed on the call Lucasfilm is developing multiple Star Wars series that have yet to be announced. He earlier said Star Wars films would enter “into a hiatus for a few years” after Rise of Skywalker, noting there would still be much “creative activity” during what Iger previously referred to as a Star Wars slowdown.
“In the Star Wars case, Star Wars IX, which comes out this December, will be the last of the Skywalker Saga, and will go into hiatus for a few years before the next Star Wars feature,” Iger said. “There will be a lot of creative activity in the interim.”
The Mandalorian is considered by Disney to be one of its most attractive new titles exclusive to Disney+, which will offer “10 original movies, specials and series exclusive to the platform” at launch, Iger said. “Within a year of launch, the amount of original content on Disney+ will increase to more than 45 series, specials and movies and will expand to more than 60 original projects per year by year five.”
Joining stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Ming-Na Wen, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito and Werner Herzog are directors Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and first-time television director Bryce Dallas Howard.
The first episode of The Mandalorian launches alongside Disney+ on Nov. 12. The remaining seven episodes will then roll out through Dec. 27.