The hunt is on.
James Mangold is writing and will direct a Star Wars stand-alone movie centered on Boba Fett, the feared bounty hunter and fan-favorite character, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned.
The reveal comes as Disney and Disney-owned Lucasfilm prepare for the release of the latest Star Wars stand-alone film, Solo: A Star Wars Story. Solo, which opens Friday, is the second movie to be spun from the main Star Wars line — Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was the first — but it is the first to focus on a particular character.
Lucasfilm is developing movies on a slew of characters including Obi-Wan Kenobi, which has Stephen Daldry in negotiations to direct, although no writers are working on a script.
It was rumored that Simon Kinberg, the writer-producer behind the X-Men franchise and films such as The Martian, was working on a Boba Fett movie. While Lucasfilm and Disney won’t make any official confirmation, sources say that Mangold will co-write the script with Kinberg, who will also produce the Boba Fett project. Kinberg and Mangold are close, having worked on Logan, the X-Men spinoff that earned high praise last year.
Boba Fett was introduced in 1980’s Empire Strikes Back and then appeared in 1983’s Return of the Jedi as the mercenary who brings Han Solo to the slug-like crime lord Jabba the Hutt. Despite having a helmet over his face and very limited time onscreen (not to mention a slapstick death), the character, with his jet pack and battle-scarred armor, grew to cult status.
The George Lucas prequels showed Boba Fett's origin as a subplot but more importantly, his escapades were featured in various books, comics, animated series, video games and merchandizing. Jeremy Bulloch inhabited the role in the initial movies.
Details for the Boba Fett storyline are being kept deep in the Sarlacc Pit.
Mangold brought prestige to the superhero genre with Logan, which he co-wrote and directed, and was produced by Kinberg. The X-Men stand-alone featuring Wolverine earned the filmmaker plaudits as well as an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay.
The writer-director, who also counts the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, the Tom Cruise action movie Knight and Day and the Western 3:10 to Yuma among his credits, is prepping to step behind the camera this summer for a Ford vs. Ferrari drama for Fox. Mangold is repped by WME, Management 360 and Sloane Offer.
May 24, 6:05 p.m. Updated to reflect that sources are saying Simon Kinberg will co-write and produce the Boba Fett film.