Sam Hargrave, a stunt coordinator and second unit director on Avengers: Endgame who made his directorial debut with Netflix's Chris Hemsworth-starring Extraction, will take the action of Star Wars: The Mandalorian to "another level" as second unit director on its upcoming sophomore season. Hargrave — whose second unit credits include Atomic Blonde, Avengers: Infinity War, and Deadpool 2 — served as a stunt performer in multiple Marvel productions, including The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, before teaming with Extraction executive producers the Russo brothers as fight and stunt coordinator on Marvel Studios' action-packed superhero blockbuster Captain America: Civil War.
"The difference is, with Extraction, I'm in the editing room so I can be extremely confident [the action] is going to be what it's going to be," Hargrave said. "I'm not editing these episodes. ... But I know the footage we delivered, as a second-unit, they seemed to be happy with. We worked closely with the stunt team there, with Bryan Watson and the team that had done the first season; they did a really great job."
Being brought on board The Mandalorian was "just to bring a little extra perspective, add a few things, things I've learned while working on superhero movies, little tricks which make the performances easier and using visual effects to enhance certain things."
"Just bringing a little bit of experience and knowledge to where we could take it to another level and up the ante," Hargrave added. "The next season is really, really cool. The way the story arcs is really cool. So we tried to have the action represent that and take it to the next level. I think we did that."
Hargrave was approached by the creative team of the Jon Favreau-created Mandalorian, who were "'looking for someone to bring into the team or add to the family who has experience with action.'"
"The team that was there did a great job in the first season and it was just all fun. But they wanted to build on that and bring a new perspective and take it to another level for the next season. So, I was like, 'That sounds like a fun challenge,'" Hargrave said. "I like the people over there — Favreau's great — so I went over and it was a really fascinating adventure. They have a crazy way of shooting."
While portions of The Mandalorian are "traditionally shot," the Lucasfilm produced series famously utilizes "The Volume," described by Hargrave as being similar to stepping into "a live game engine."0comments
"It's quite insane what technology nowadays is available to filmmakers. It was really eye-opening, the potential of this technology that Jon and they guys had been working on," he said. "It was a really fun learning experience."
Favreau recently confirmed The Mandalorian Season 2 remains on track for an October release on Disney+.