On the eve of the debut of Solo: A Star Wars Story, The Hollywood Reporter dropped an exclusive that a Boba Fett spin-off film will be written and Directed by James Mangold (Logan).
“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”.
The Boba Fett film has been in the pre-production phase since the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney. This new project shares its place with the drama of other stand-alone Star Wars films with the dismissal of Director Josh Trank back in 2016. The Boba Fett spin-off film is one of the worst-kept secrets in Hollywood, and an inevitable choice for Lucasfilm, who has been hitting it out of the park with these stand-alone stories. The iconic character, who at least for me, hasn’t meant much, will be gracing theater screens in the future. The announcement of James Mangold, who did a marvelous job with Logan, is another gut punch for representation in Star Wars.
This exclusive does pose some questions and the eruption of some acid reflux. Boba Fett’s likeness is all too familiar as he is the clone of his father Jango Fett. Audiences can easily give a fair chance for Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo. But how exactly is this going to work with the man clad in green Mandalorian armor? Temuera Morrison, a Maori and wonderful actor, is now 58 years young. Not exactly, the age for starring in an action film, although I’m sure he would be delighted for the challenge to try. If Harrison and others can do it, why not Temuera Morrison? Daniel Logan should also be given the chance to audition for the role, but we all know that won’t be the case, as a Star Wars film needs a AAA actor at the helm. Which in some cases is unfortunate, because sometimes taking a chance on an unknown can really surprise you. By casting someone that isn’t Maori, catapults us down the slippery slope of continuity issues and more import, and the act of white-washing.
Temuera Morrison holds a special place in Star Wars as the face and voice of countless Republic Clones, Jango and Boba Fett. So much so he lent his talents to voicing Boba Fett in the special 2004 DVD release of the original trilogy and many video game titles. How do you cast that role with someone other than Morrison is bound to upset a good portion of the fandom, not only because he doesn’t look like Morrison, but that the Maori people are not represented. New Zealand has given the world great performances from their homegrown talents, but Maori actors are not exactly bristling in Hollywood. Perhaps, Lucasfilm casting should take a trip to Middle Zealand, check out the Hobbit tour and go find themselves a young Maori Actor that just might pull this off.
There is also the possibility of taking this character to a completely new direction as Chuck Wendig did in the Star Wars Aftermath series of novels. There, Cobb Vanth gathers the armor from Boba Fett in a Jawa Sandcrawler on Tatooine. A new self-imposed lawman, draped in the dented, scorched green armor of Boba Fett- determined to end the Hutt’s rule. This is the option that appeals to me most, but it’s still a small measure of white-washing. This could be the opportunity to really launch this character and make the armor the symbol more than the man. Time will tell and we bank on the trust and experience of Lucasfilm.