German director-slash-actor Werner Herzog, who next stars in the Jon Favreau-created The Mandalorian, says the live-action Star Wars television series is a "phenomenal achievement" that "brings movie-making back where it should be."
"The Mandalorian, I was invited by Jon Favreau — who started this whole series — to act," Herzog told AP Entertainment. "I looked at the screenplays and I had the feeling, although I know very little about Star Wars, I had the feeling yes, I could do it. It's a character in whom you cannot trust. And I said yes, I can do that."
Herzog's shifty and unnamed character, first glimpsed in footage premiered exclusively at Star Wars Celebration Chicago in April, belongs to a gritty world populated by bounty hunters and other scoundrels.
The series, set in the years after Return of the Jedi and the fall of the Galactic Empire, highlights old-school filmmaking and "was filmed not like all the other Star Wars or other big event films."
"Green screen, green screen everywhere, in the camera, motion control moving there. All of a sudden you have a phenomenal step forward," Herzog said.
"As an actor, you see the entire planet on which you are [standing]. You see the landscape, you see the formation. The camera could even be handheld and move in-between us, sees the same landscape, it's not green screen and artificiality. It brings movie-making back where it should be. It's phenomenal, [a] phenomenal achievement."
A galaxy far, far away is all new to the 76-year-old, who admits he's yet to see any of the eight-movie Star Wars saga.
"I have to confess I never saw a single one. I've seen some trailers, I've seen some excerpts here and there," he said. "And I know about the whole franchise and about the toys for the kids, and so... it's all a new mythology of a time of some sort of heroics, and it has created new mythologies, and you better take them seriously. Yes, they're out there, and don't ignore them."
Directors on the first-ever live-action Star Wars series, produced by Favreau, Dave Filoni (Star Wars Rebels), Colin Wilson (Avatar) and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), include Filoni, Taiki Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones), and first-time television director Bryce Dallas Howard.
Pedro Pascal (Wonder Woman 1984), Nick Nolte (Hulk), Giancarol Esposito (Breaking Bad), Carl Weathers (Rocky), Emily Swallow (The Mentalist) and Gina Carano (Deadpool) also star.
The first episode of The Mandalorian will premiere alongside Disney+ when the streaming service launches November 12. Unlike competitor Netflix, which typically releases all episodes of a season at once, The Mandalorian will not be available in its entirety at launch.
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