Rogue One Prequel Series Taps Black Mirror’s Toby Haynes as New Director, Begins Filming in October: Report

Rogue One prequel Cassian Andor series has found a new director in Toby Haynes, who replaces showrunner Tony Gilroy at the helm. But this isn’t one of those Star Wars shake-ups that we’ve become accustomed to seeing. This is reportedly happening due to travel restrictions in place due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Gilroy is based in New York but the Rogue One series will be filmed in the UK, starting October. He decided against travelling and let Haynes take over directing duties for the first three episodes. Gilroy remains the showrunner and executive producer.

Haynes is best known for directing the Black Mirror season 4 episode “USS Callister” with Jesse Plemons and Cristin Miloti, the Sherlock season 2 finale “The Reichenbach Fall” with Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Andrew Scott that is considered the show’s best, and the 2019 made-for-TV movie Brexit: The Uncivil War also with Cumberbatch. He has also directed five episodes of the Doctor Who revival in 2010 and 2011. Haynes’ next project is Amazon’s remake of the British sci-fi original Utopia, which premieres Friday on Prime Video.

Deadline brings word of Haynes replacing Gilroy as Rogue One director on the first three episodes, noting that the former was already “high” on the directors’ list for future episodes and his presence in the UK — Haynes is British — made sense to go with him. Disney declined to comment on the new development. An episode count is unavailable for the first season of the Rogue One Cassian Andor prequel series, and it’s unclear who will direct the other episodes.

The untitled Star Wars series follows the aforementioned Rebel spy Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) five years before the events of Rogue One when the Rebellion is still in its infancy. It has been described as a “rousing spy thriller”. In addition to Luna, Alan Tudyk will reprise his role as the droid K-2SO, with Genevieve O’Reilly as Rebel Alliance co-founder Mon Mothma. They will be joined by newcomers Stellan Skarsgård, Kyle Soller, and Denise Gough.

Though Gilroy was only officially credited as the co-writer on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, he was the director for the extensive reshoots. Gilroy later remarked that Disney were in “terrible trouble” when he was brought in and he was “unafraid” to change things up because he wasn’t a lifelong Star Wars fan and “had no reverence for it whatsoever.” Gilory also said then that he had no plans to return to Star Wars, so clearly some of his views have changed since.

The Rogue One Cassian Andor prequel series is expected to air in 2021 on Disney+ Hotstar. Filming begins in October. It will be the second live-action Star Wars series, after The Mandalorian.

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