June 29, 2023
by Bespin Bulletin

James Mangold, writer and director of the upcoming Lucasfilm release, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, has once again confirmed that he had previously worked on a Boba Fett movie during a new interview, and has shared details on the project.

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Back in 2018, just days before the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, The Hollywood Reporter exclusively shared that the director of Logan, James Mangold, was set to direct a Boba Fett anthology film for Lucasfilm and Disney, and was co-writing the script alongside Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Dark Phoenix). The film never came to be, but Mangold confirmed his involvement on the project last week with Variety and has now shared more details with the Happy Sad Confused podcast.

Host of the podcast, Josh Horowitz, brought up past rumours of Mangold previously working on a Star Wars film with the host relaying rumours that the Logan director was ‘more than dabbling’ with a Boba Fett film a number of years ago and asked if the project at the time bared any resemblance to The Mandalorian or The Book of Boba Fett TV series. Mangold outright confirms that this was the case – he was most certainly working on a Boba Fett movie. The writer-director added that his development and plans for the Fett flick likely scared Lucasfilm and Disney as his vision for the film borderline R rated. He also shared that unlike most Star Wars stories, he never planned for Fett to leave the planet he was residing on, which we assume to be Tatooine, and reaffirmed a tidbit from the Variety article last week that the film was planned as a spaghetti western inspired by films of Sergio Leone, the iconic film director behind films such as the Dollar trilogy.


“At the point that I was doing it I was probably scaring the shit out of everyone. But I was probably making much more of a borderline rated r sort of spaghetti western – a single planet spaghetti western. The world would never have been able to embrace Baby Yoda if made that [movie], if didn’t really belong in the world that I was envisioning.” – James Mangold

Mangold went on to confirm what many fans have long suspected, but that the project was stopped due to ‘corporate realignment’ after the commercial failure that was Solo: A Star Wars Story. Originally Lucasfilm and Disney planned on releasing a series of anthology movies along with the release of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. The first anthology movie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, was released in 2016 and made over one billion dollars at the box office. Due to the success, Lucasfilm ramped up production on three more anthology/a Star Wars story titles, Solo, Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Solo released in 2018 after a troubled production and made less than four hundred million worldwide on a production budget of two hundred and seventy five million. The film seemingly lost a significant amount of money for the studio, and Lucasfilm and Disney presumably abandoned plans of releasing more anthology films, with Fett and Kenobi eventually turning into Disney+ series, both of which were very successful.

It kind of just, uh, in a moment of corporate realignment after what had happened with the Han Solo movie [Solo: A Star Wars Story], they suddenly decided that they [Lucasfilm] weren’t making pictures like that. And I think the opportunities in streaming presented themselves.” – James Mangold


The host of the podcast noted that his heart was breaking having been denied the chance of seeing a borderline rated R Boba Fett movie from a massive talent like Mangold on the big screen. Mangold shared that the time in which we was working on the Fett flick was ‘beautiful’ and that during the process he was listening to the celebrated Italian composer, Ennio Morricone, who worked on the iconic scores of the Dollars trilogy and Once Upon a Time in the West, whilst writing away. The Indiana Jones director added that despite his enthusiasm, he was unsure if his ideas and treatment would have got made.

It was a beautiful period. I was just listening to Ennio Morricone all day and all night and typing away. But I’m not sure if it ever would have happened. I’m not sure if it was in anyone’s plans what I was thinking about.” – James Mangold

It’s great to see Mangold open up and discuss his Boba Fett project that never came to be. Despite the writer-director seemingly confirming the past reports last week to Variety, with a select number of online people refusing to believe the trade, this is interview with Happy Sad Confused is concrete proof that Mangold at some stage was developing a Boba Fett film. His comments with the Happy Sad Confused podcast and with Variety contradict an interview with Kathleen Kennedy in 2021 where the Lucasfilm president denied the three year old at the time reports that Mangold had previously worked on a Boba Fett movie.

Kathleen Kennedy told Empire in 2021, ahead of the release of the Disney+ series, The Book of Boba Fett, that there was “virtually no previous development” on a Fett flick with Chronicle director Josh Trank, who was set to be announced as a director on a Boba Fett film at Star Wars Celebration in 2016, but was pulled last minute and let go from the project. In the same interview, Kennedy added that James Mangold “never worked on” a Boba Fett idea, but the latest piece from Variety seemed to contradict the quote from the Lucasfilm president and the new Happy Sad Confused interview most certainly does. The contradiction follows another from earlier this year where Kennedy claimed that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and Lucasfilm “never discussed” an idea for his Star Wars film, and that the reports of Feige developing a Star Wars film was only announced by the press and “fandom”, despite Disney’s Chief Creative Officer, Alan Horn, confirming Feige was developing an untitled Star Wars movie in September 2019, with Loki writer Micheal Waldron confirming last year that he was writing Feige’s Star Wars flick, and directing duo, The Russo Brothers, recently confirming that Feige had previously approached them to direct his Star Wars project. The Feige project has since been scrapped.

James Mangold is currently set to write a Star Wars movie for Lucasfilm that is set thousands of years before the Star Wars prequel trilogy and will focus on the first ever Jedi and their discovery of the Force. Mangold next effort, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny releases in cinemas tomorrow, June 30th.

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