Disney Is Back In Cahoots With ‘Mandalorian’ Star Gina Carano

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gina carano as cara dune

Credit: Gina Carano Instagram

Actress Gina Carano — who formerly played New Republic Marshal Cara Dune on  Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni’s hit Star Wars series, The Mandalorian — has faced more than her share of online drama due to her controversial Tweets throughout the airing of The Mandalorian Season 2.

gina carano mandalorian premiere
Credit: ABC

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Before Carano was fired by Lucasfilm and The Walt Disney Company in Febraury 2021, hashtags like #FireGinaCarano#WeLoveCaraDune, and #IStandWithGinaCarano alternately trended on social media.

Carano has been vocal about her distaste for Disney and Lucasfilm, publicly stating that she was “bullied” by the powers-that-be and sharing that her new project, Western movie Terror on the Prairie with Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire, will “take down the Death Star”.

the mandalorian season 2 mission to morak (l-r) bill burr as migs mayfeld, gina carano as cara dune, ming-na wen as fennec shand, pedro pascal as din djarin, and temuera morrison as boba fett
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Despite the controversy surrounding the actress — and Lucasfilm’s insistence that they have no plans to bring her back to the Star Wars franchise — there have been rumors that the actress will return for The Mandalorian Season 4, thanks to support from Favreau, Pedro Pascal (Din Djarin)Katee Sackhoff (Bo-Katan Kryze)Ming-Na Wen (Fennec Shand)Giancarlo Esposito (Moff Gideon), and Carl Weathers (Greef Karga).

Now, in a strange turn of events, Disney is actually back in cahoots with Carano and her family thanks to the company’s deal with Casear’s Entertainment.

bryce dallas howard (left) and gina carano (right) on mandalorian set
Credit: Disney Gallery – The Mandalorian

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Last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that “ESPN is seeking to license its brand to major sports-betting companies for at least $3 billion over several years.” Caesar’s Entertainment, Inc. and online sports betting giant DraftKings were both involved in the conversation.

gina-carano-at-galaxys-edge
Credit: Gina Carano Instagram

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Previously, in 2019, Disney-owned ESPN signed a long-term marketing deal with Caesar’s:

ESPN has announced a wide-ranging deal with Caesars Entertainment that includes the addition of a new ESPN-branded studio at the LINQ Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, where sports-betting-themed content will be created, along with segments for Daily Wager, ESPN’s recently launched sports-betting-related show.

The studio (launching in 2020) will serve as a Vegas home for odds-related content across ESPN platforms. Caesars will also serve as ESPN’s official odds data supplier across TV and digital, receiving associated attribution across ESPN platforms.

espn the daily wager
Credit: ESPN

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This is where the Carano family comes in. Gina, a former women’s MMA and Muay Thai fighter, and her father, Glenn, an ex-NFL backup quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, both have deep ties to sports. But, what many don’t realize is that the Carano family is actually deeply invested (literally) in the casino industry.

Per The Hollywood Reporter:

Howard Stutz, executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports, tells THR that the Carano family is “deeply rooted” in North Nevada. Gina’s grandfather, Don Carano, founded Eldorado Resorts in the 1970s as well as the McDonald Carano law firm in Nevada, and the Ferrari Carano Vineyard & Winery in Healdsburg, California…

…“[Don’s] sons took over Eldorado Resorts, and they grew it into an amazing gaming company,” Stutz continues of the empire that expanded greatly in July 2020 (three years after Don Carano’s death) when Caesars Entertainment announced that it had completed a merger between Caesars Entertainment Corporation and Eldorado, creating the largest casino and entertainment company in the United States with 55 properties worldwide including eight on the Las Vegas Strip.

fennec shand cara dune mandalorian the believer
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Controversial ‘Mandalorian’ Star Gina Carano Skyrockets on Amazon Prime Video

This means that, thanks to The Walt Disney Company’s ongoing deal with Caesar’s Entertainment, Gina Carano and her family never really left the Disney fold. What this could mean for the Deadpool actress’s future in the Star Wars universe is anyone’s guess, but the possibilities are certainly intriguing.

bob chapek onstage
Credit: Disney

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Recently, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek discussed Disney’s sports betting future:

“While multi-platform television and streaming will continue to be the foundation of sports coverage for the immediate future, we believe the opportunity for The Walt Disney Company goes well beyond these channels,” Chapek said. “It extends to sports betting, gaming, and the Metaverse. In fact, that’s what excites us: the opportunity to build a sports machine akin to our franchise flywheel that enables audiences to experience, connect with and become actively engaged with their favorite sporting events, stories, teams, and players.”

Did you know Gina Carano’s family is a major player in Caesar’s Entertainment?

Star Wars fans can look forward to Obi-Wan Kenobi streaming on May 25, 2022 and The Mandalorian Season 3, rumored to debut in December 2022.

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