Star Wars recruits Andor and House of Cards’ Beau Willimon to co-write James Mangold’s movie

Headshot of Wenlei Ma
Wenlei Ma
The Nightly
This photo provided by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment shows, Mark Hamill, from left, as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Organa, and Harrison Ford as Hans Solo in the original 1977 "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope." The  four-day Star Wars Celebration kicked off Thursday, April 14, 2017 in Orlando, Fla., marking the 40-year anniversary of Lucasâ?? space saga. (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment via AP)
This photo provided by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment shows, Mark Hamill, from left, as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Organa, and Harrison Ford as Hans Solo in the original 1977 "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope." The four-day Star Wars Celebration kicked off Thursday, April 14, 2017 in Orlando, Fla., marking the 40-year anniversary of Lucasâ?? space saga. (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment via AP) Credit: PH **NY**/AP

The movie side of the Star Wars universe has been languishing since the release of J.J. Abrams’ 2019 movie The Rise of Skywalker.

Some projects were announced (the David Benioff and D.B. Weiss trilogy) only to collapse not long after or, as was the case with Rian Johnson, go quiet, completely quiet.

Of the Star Wars movies that we know are still coming up, there’s one that has certainly piqued fans’ interest – a feature to be directed by James Mangold, who made the very excellent X-Men neo-western Logan, and the better-than-expected Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, plus every dad’s favourite movie in 2019, Ford v Ferrari.

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Now there’s even more reason to be excited about Mangold’s mission because news emerged over the weekend that Beau Willimon has been tapped to co-write the script for Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi with Mangold.

Diego Luna in a still from Andor.
Diego Luna in Andor, a series Beau Willimon wrote three episodes of. Credit: Supplied/Disney/TheWest

Star Wars fans will recognise Willimon’s name as one of the writers of Andor, arguably the best live-action Star Wars streaming series to date. Andor was gritty, thrilling and political, and it wasn’t weighed down by the franchise’s complex Force mythology. By any measure, it was just a great show, Star Wars or not.

Andor wasn’t Willimon’s first venture into the double-crossing, grimy world of politics and conspiracies. He is best known as the creator of the American version of House of Cards, a drama that certainly had its share of wheeling, dealing and self-serving betrayal.

He also co-wrote the screenplay for the George Clooney and Ryan Gosling movie The Ides of March, which was - you guessed it - a political thriller. Willimon knows the darkness in the hearts of powerful politicians.

But unlike Andor, Dawn of the Jedi won’t be keeping things Force-free, it’ll be the origin story of how the likes of Luke, Anakin, Yoda and Grogu came to have their powers. It’s expected to be set 25,000 years before any of the existing Star Wars stories.

A still taken from the movie "Star Wars: The Last Jedi". Pictured is Mark Hamill. ( Luke Skywalker)
Dawn of the Jedi will explore how the Force came to be. Credit: Supplied/Supplied

Mangold had previously said of his upcoming film, “I thought about a biblical epic, like a Ten Commandments, about the dawning of the Force. Where did the Force come from, when did we discover it, when did we learn how to use it?”

Mangold is currently in production on a Bob Dylan biopic starring Timothee Chalamet. He is expected to embark on his Star Wars project next.

The Star Wars movies that are currently officially on the slate includes the big screen adventures of The Mandalorian & Grogu, set for a mid-2026 release and to be directed by Jon Favreau, an untitled movie directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy set 10 years after The Rise of Skywalker with Daisy Ridley reprising her role of Rey, and a New Republic-focused movie from Dave Filoni.

Taika Waititi and Shawn Levy are both reportedly still attached on their various movie projects.

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