Jon Favreau may play an important leadership role in the Star Wars franchise moving forward, even after he's done show-running The Mandalorian. The filmmaker is currently overseeing production on The Mandalorian season 2, following the live-action Star Wars series' premiere on Disney+'s launch day last week. He's also coming off directing Disney's The Lion King CGI retelling (which was a massive box office hit over the summer), and has yet to line up his next film project.
With the Star Wars movies set to go on hiatus until 2022 after next month's Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, there are a lot of questions surrounding the property and its future right now. Lucasfilm has already announced a pair of additional Disney+ series (the Cassian Andor and Obi-Wan Kenobi shows) to follow The Mandalorian, but are keeping things closer to the chest when it comes to the upcoming Star Wars films. Wherever the studio goes from here, however, Favreau is expected to be a key part of their game plan.
According to THR's sources, Favreau will probably have "a lot of say" over the direction of the Star Wars franchise in the future. That could mean anything from him directing a movie down the line (perhaps even the mystery 2022 film that, reportedly, already has its director) to potentially becoming Lucasfilm's Chief Creative Officer, much like Kevin Feige over at Marvel Studios. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has yet to discuss what she plans to do after her contract is up in 2021, but THR believes Favreau will become a bigger part of Star Wars in the years to come, whether she remains onboard as president or not.
Purely from a business perspective, it makes sense for Lucasfilm to keep Favreau involved with Star Wars moving forward. In addition to his (so far, mostly successful) efforts on The Mandalorian, Favreau has close ties to both Disney and Marvel Studios, having previously worked with them as a director, producer, and even an actor in the latter's case. Considering how many Star Wars movies have lost directors since Disney acquired Lucasfilm (sometimes very early on in pre-production), it could be helpful to Kennedy and her brain trust to have a dependable collaborator like Favreau in place to contribute to the franchise's creative direction post-Rise of Skywalker. And if Kennedy does decide to step away from Lucasfilm in a couple of years, Favreau would then be immediately available to aid with the transition.
Clearly, the situation with Star Wars is fluid at the moment, and Disney and Lucasfilm are making the right call to put the films on-hold for a while after The Rise of Skywalker brings the Skywalker Saga to a close. Disney's Star Wars movies have all been critically well-received so far (to varying degrees) and, with the exception of Solo, did terrific business at the box office, so it's not as though the franchise is in bad shape. By going on hiatus, Lucasfilm will allow itself more time to figure out the next best step and especially what to do with its creatives like Favreau. Who knows, he might even be better off sticking to the live-action TV side of Star Wars and building out that area of the universe, rather than jumping over to the films.