We told you that big news would be coming out of Lucasfilm over the coming weeks, and based on the headline for this article, I think we can safely say that’s coming to fruition. So let’s just get straight to it: we believe at this time based on our sources, and other just-breaking reporting, that Robert Downey Jr is in serious talks to join the Favreau-Filoni Star Wars cinematic universe.
Here at Pirates and Princesses, we give credit where credit is due. In this case, while we were trying to follow up on information we were receiving, another news-breaker – Daniel Richtman – was able to beat us to the punch on breaking the RDJ news publicly. That said, I think we can add some additional information Richtman was not privy to. Before doing so, let me remind our readers that we’re headed into potentials that are still in talks; just like when we reported that the Tron coaster was likely to shut down construction and then were later able to report that it had come to pass, we’re reporting today that there are discussions (as signaled by Richtman), and then we may be able to report later on that RDJ has inked a deal. But as far as we know, there are no currently signed contracts.
Here’s where we believe the talks are going for RDJ joining the Favreau-Filoni Star Wars cinematic universe:
It’s important to note that Downey and Favreau have an excellent and friendly relationship. Both hold each other in very high regard, and actively look for opportunities to work with one another. We do not believe that current and potential talks for RDJ joining Star Wars are of a cameo nature, nor are they for a small role. At this time, indications given to us are that things are moving towards a major, reoccurring role that may involve work in more than one series and may involve a long-term contract. One lead we’re working on but cannot yet corroborate is that the potential role may be very different than the Iron Man / Tony Stark role that RDJ played for so long, and that it might involve a serious change in appearance.
Furthermore, at this time we believe Jon Favreau is actively recruiting other big names that would normally be associated with theatrical releases. This seems to solidify our understanding that a paradigm shift is occurring in which streaming series are rapidly becoming the marquee form of entertainment with theaters across the globe losing the ability to stay open due to the pandemic, and increasingly due to loss of capital reserves. Consider that The Mandalorian has become the most pirated entertainment property within the last month, and you’ll realize just what a success that show has become (and what Jon Favreau is hoping to do with the other interwoven series branching off of it). The caveat to all the good news about streaming series and the idea of pulling in blockbuster celebrities is the issue of rewatches. Let me explain:
When it comes to most theatrical releases, the budgets are constrained to a certain level with the understanding that movie goers will attend basically one time. However, the actuaries project differently with movies that are considered blockbusters, which is how A-list celebrities are able to pull in such massive contracts. With blockbusters, the expected difference is that a certain percentage of fans will not only go to see the movie, but that they will return with others to watch the movie a second, third, and even more times. These are essentially the whales of the blockbuster cinema market. The problem with pulling in big-name celebrities for streaming series is that there are no additional fees gained by having people watch the series over and over. Were the opposite true, the final episode of The Mandalorian Season 2 would be making Disney an even bigger fortune.
So that makes us curious then. If Favreau is planning to bring in Downey and/or other top actors to his Star Wars Universe (which is now distinct from Kathleen Kennedy’s Lucasfilm vision), what is the budget and are they planning any clever methods for increasing revenues? One possibility is that the current Favreau-Filoni live action series could lead into theatrical-style movie releases outside of the normal subscription coverage for Disney+ (a la Mulan, but successfully). Perhaps they could also release those sort of traditional films with a discount provided for a later purchase of director’s cut or commentary versions of the film (in an effort to drive those repeat viewer and fan purchase revenues).
To summarize all of this, we do believe based on what we’re hearing and other publicly released reports that Robert Downey Jr is in talks to join the Favreau-Filoni Star Wars Universe. We believe those talks are for a substantial, long-term role. We believe there will soon be additional talks to bring other major actors. All momentum and company backing/leverage does seem to be behind Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. It would not shock us at this point if RDJ takes a role like Grand Admiral Thrawn or some other major piece, and that this represents the beginning of a major movement within the acting and entertainment industry as to where the most oxygen (and money) is.
— Dorksidetoys (@Dorksidetoys) December 27, 2020
But again… it’s just talks at this time. We’ll see where it goes.
In the meantime, feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below. Pirates and Princesses articles often have hundreds of thousands of readers, and we’d love to hear what’s important to you. Plus, don’t forget to check back each day for more information, often days and weeks ahead of when the mainstream/access media figures out what’s going on. Our very best regards to each and every one of you!
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.