The first season of The Mandalorian was an instant success, giving Disney+ a can’t-miss show right out of the gate. And the next season has an even bigger budget, which means more epic action sequences. But in order to up the ante, you need to appoint the best, which is just what Disney did when they appointed Extraction director Sam Hargrave as second unit director.
Hargrave is no stranger to epic action scenes. He’s worked as stunt coordinator on many blockbusters, including Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, Deadpool 2, Suicide Squad, and The Hunger Games movies.
Speaking to Collider about his new Star Wars gig, Hargrave revealed just how different shooting The Mandalorian is compared to what he’s done before. “They have a crazy way of shooting,” he recalled. “Some of the stuff is traditionally shot, with the live-action and blue screen on the backlot, but they’ve also got this technology called ‘The Volume’ where it’s just, like, the inside of a live game engine.”
It’s quite insane what technology nowadays is available to filmmakers. It was really eye-opening, the potential of this technology that Jon [Favreau] and the guys had been working on. It was a really fun learning experience.
Basically, the Volume allows producers to simulate elaborate outdoor sets while never leaving the controlled environment of a studio. It is indeed pretty impressive:
“[I was brought on] to bring a little extra perspective,” Hargrave continued, “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.”
Not only is Disney interested in upping the action in The Mandalorian season 2, but they’re also going all-out to assemble a stellar cast playing characters drawn from all over the Star Wars universe. Aside from returning characters, we know that Rosario Dawson will make her first live-action appearance as Ahsoka Tano, Michael Biehn is signed on to play an unknown Bounty Hunter, and Temuera Morrison — who played Jango Fett in the prequel trilogy — is set to appear as Boba Fett.
“The next season is really, really cool,” Hargrave teases. “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.”
The Mandalorian season 1 is currently streaming on Disney+. Season 2 is still set to release in October.