The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau was originally only contracted to deliver one season of the hit Disney+ series. The Mandalorian was the first live-action TV series in the Star Wars universe, and premiered with the launch of Disney+ in 2019. The show takes place five years after the events of Return of the Jedi and follows the travels of a lone bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy. After the premiere of The Mandalorian, the series was met with critical and audience acclaim and has since gone on to win 14 Primetime Emmys during its two-season run. The Mandalorian season 3 is set to be released some time in 2022.
Favreau is no stranger to working with Disney, having been involved with the MCU in various capacities since he directed Iron Man back in 2008. He has also been at the helm of the live-action remakes of both The Jungle Book and The Lion King. Since the success of The Mandalorian, Favreau has cemented himself as a constant presence in the world of Star Wars. Alongside continuing to write for The Mandalorian, Favreau also created the recent series The Book of Boba Fett, which follows the fan-favorite character of the same name, and has since begun working on a new Star Wars show entitled Rangers of the New Republic.
With all this success, it’s hard to imagine that Favreau was once not meant to be as much of a Star Wars staple as he is now. According to a report from Puck, Favreau was initially only contracted for The Mandalorian season 1. However, after its success, The Mandalorian quickly became Disney+’s signature series, which opened the door for Favreau to be able to leverage what has been described as an “insane” deal for more content. Reportedly, his deal not only covers the series he creates, but includes bonuses and incentives for writing and directing individual episodes.
The Puck article notes that this deal is particularly impressive, as Disney is notorious for under-compensating their creatives. Generally, the studio leverages the popularity of their brand to their advantage, betting that everyone wants to work both with them and the properties they own. This is a mindset which has, of course, grown since Disney’s acquisition of properties such as Marvel and Star Wars. With that said, the report speculates that, while Favreau’s deal is quite impressive, it is likely that Disney still does not give him a cut of the show’s merchandise, despite the fact that he created many of the characters who are now action figures and t-shirts.
While it is upsetting that Disney is relatively open about feeling they don’t have to properly compensate their creatives, it’s also understandable why Favreau’s contract would be the rare exception. He has had a hand in the majority of Disney’s successful content over the last decade in some form or another, and using his success to leverage an “insane” deal will likely not only benefit him, but also Disney, which continues to produce his top-quality work. However, the people who arguably benefit the most are Star Wars fans, who will get to see The Mandalorian season 3 hit Disney+ later this year.