Breaking: Toby Haynes Taking Over Cassian Andor Series Directing From Showrunner Tony Gilroy

Image credit: Toby Haynes, Tony Gilroy Courtesy of Toby Haynes; Mega

A new director is taking over the untitled Disney+ Star Wars series about Cassian Andor from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Toby Haynes will step in for Tony Gilroy for at least the first three episodes.

The 2016 spin-off film, Rogue One, is part of the Star Wars Anthology films. These movies take place within the Star Wars universe and run parallel to the main Skywalker saga. Rogue One was a megahit, grossing over $1 billion on an estimated production budget of $275 million. The film’s success would not have been possible without Tony Gilroy, who, along with, Chris Weitz, is credited for the screenplay. Though the final directing credit was given to Gareth Edwards, Gilroy was brought in to direct an extensive reshoot improving the final film.  

The film’s success gave the green light to further develop a show around Cassian Andor via Disney+. Gilroy was set to write the pilot in addition to directing multiple episodes. He was also set to serve as executive producer and series showrunner.

The show was six weeks into pre-production when the global lockdown began in April. The shutdown forced virtually all entertainment-related work to grind to a halt. Pre-production on the series resumed in the UK this month; filming is set to begin next month.

Unfortunately, there has been a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the UK. The country recorded its highest number of cases since May. Many US film companies moved their productions to the UK and mainland Europe as those regions opened up faster than the US. All production sites and facilities have protocols to prevent the spread of the virus on their sets. However, this alarming increase in cases may cause a second lockdown there. There is no word on what this second lockdown may do to productions already underway in the country.

Based out of New York, Gilroy had to make a quick decision regarding travel plans. He thought it best to stay in the US and hand the reins over to someone already in the UK. Gilroy will stay on as executive producer and series showrunner, allowing him to remain part of the show’s daily production. Though he will be doing this remotely for the time being.

Toby Haynes was the clear choice to take over from Gilroy for several reasons. He was already based in the UK. Moreover, Haynes was already high on the list of directors for future episodes of the show. His Emmy Award-winning work on the Black Mirror episode "U.S.S. Callister" brought him into the spotlight. Recently, Haynes helmed HBO’s Brexit starring Benedict Cumberbatch. He also directed the anticipated Utopia on Amazon Prime premiering Friday, September 25.

Disney+ is tripling down on its Star Wars shows following the phenomenal, award-winning success of the first season of The Mandalorian. The second season premieres at the end of October. Preproduction on a live-action series about a young Ob-Wan Kenobi is set to begin soon. The Cassian Andor series is the third such offering from the streaming service.

There have been whispers about the development of a fourth show based on a young Mace Windu, reported earlier this week here on Culture Slate. Some of us are hopeful that this one will also come to fruition. However, that rumor has not yet been substantiated.

The new, still untitled, Cassian Andor show is described as a spy-thriller style show. It is based on the character’s adventures prior to the events of Rogue One. Diego Luna will reprise his role as Cassian Andor. Adria Arjona, Denise Gough, Genevieve O’Reilly, Stellan Skarsgard, and Kyle Soller are also set to star in the show. Alan Tudyk will reprise his role as the voice of Andor’s sidekick droid, K-2SO.

Image credit: Lucasfilm, Disney+


Source(s): , StarWarsNewsNet