Marvel Director Accuses Lucasfilm of Stealing His Rejected ‘Star Wars’ TV Show

in Entertainment, Star Wars

The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and the Child in THE MANDALORIAN, season two, exclusively on Disney+. Credit: Lucasfilm

Credit: Lucasfilm

Mark Twain famously said there is no such thing as an original idea, which is especially true when it comes to the film and TV landscape. George Lucas himself, for one, was inspired by the Japanese samurai flicks of Akira Kurosawa, which laid the foundation for his galaxy far, far away. Still, there are instances when an idea can feel a little too on the nose — something The Incredible Hulk (2008) director Louis Leterrier recently confirmed when he revealed how his rejected pitch for a Star Wars project might’ve accidentally turned into the most successful Disney+ original to date.

din djarin (front) and boba fett (back) in book of boba fett finale battle
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Pedro Pascal No Longer Returning to ‘The Mandalorian Season’ 4

It’s no secret that some of the leading minds behind modern-day Star Wars often pull inspiration from the great artists before them. But there’s a fine line between paying homage to a specific work by integrating certain stylistic choices, designs, or themes into a new project and flat-out copying someone else’s efforts.

Still, occasionally, there can be all the right ingredients to create something extraordinary — but not the right person to piece it together. So is the case with Louis Leterrier, best known for his work on the ill-fated The Incredible Hulk, Now You See Me (2013), and more recently, Fast X (2023).

Edward Norton and Liv Tyler in the Incredible Hulk.
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Recently, the filmmaker shared some amusing details about his rejected Star Wars pitches, which took place back in 2017 ahead of the launch of Disney+. During this time, Lucasfilm welcomed pitches for various Star Wars TV shows, wanting to expand its catalog of live-action Disney+ originals. Obviously, Jon Favreau’s idea won the popular vote, later evolving into The Mandalorian, which he co-creates alongside Dave Filoni. However, according to Leterrier, he was far from the only one with the idea centered around a lone wolf and Force-sensitive cub.

Speaking to Josh Horowitz on his Happy Sad Confused podcast during a live commentary on The Incredible Hulk, Louis Leterrier revealed an eerily familiar-sounding pitch he made to Lucasfilm, which would’ve followed the journey of “a lone wolf and cub.” He also wasn’t the only filmmaker desperate to get his hands on a potential Boba Fett movie; Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023) director James Mangold had a similar idea for a “borderline spaghetti western” based on the legendary bounty hunter.

Mandalorian and Boba Fett
Credit: Lucasfilm

Leterrier’s language when describing his idea for a Star Wars TV show raised eyebrows, with the director implying that his pitch inspired a different project set in the galaxy far, far away: The Mandalorian. Starring Pedro Pascal, the hit show follows “lone wolf” Din Djarin as he takes the Force-sensitive Grogu into his charge, suggesting that the father-son dynamic the show is so revered for was actually suggested by Leterrier years before its arrival on Disney+:

I had my dream Star Wars idea a long time ago, when I came to them and pitched it: ‘We should do a Star Wars TV show conceived as a lone wolf and cub’. And they said ‘Uh, we don’t know if that’s a great idea’. It was two things. I wanted to do the missing part between… Basically before ‘A New Hope’ when Obi-Wan takes Luke. I wanted to do that. But I was also very interested in the Boba Fett movie.

Admittedly, Leterrier’s comment is a little unclear, but it sounds as though he wanted to make a “lone wolf and cub” show focused on Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker — not Din and Grogu. Instead of following the exiled Jedi Master and his apprentice, the wolf-and-cub dynamic became central to The Mandalorian, and the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ TV show followed suit.

Grogu shocked in 'The Mandalorian'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Lucasfilm certainly — if there is truth to his remarks — played Leterrier’s ideas differently, with the Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries having avoided a focus on Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) and Luke’s (Grant Feely) relationship to instead surprise viewers by teaming the Jedi Master with a young Leia Organa (Vivien Lyra Blair). 

Ultimately, it sounds like Leterrier isn’t trying to take credit for The Mandalorian or any other show here by any means, but it’s completely understandable why he was disappointed that Lucasfilm decided not to hire him for the projects he pitched to them.

Obi-Wan and Leia in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Still, it’s important to note that mentor-mentee relationships are at the heart of nearly every Star Wars movie or TV show, with Ahsoka, the Sequel Trilogy, Star Wars Rebels, and many others fitting well with this thematic narrative, meaning Leterrier’s idea wasn’t exactly reinventing the wheel here — something he even admitted during the interview when asked about how he feels about the whole thing now:

That’s okay, I did Hulk, I did other things. It’s all good, it’s all part of the thing. And, frankly, I had this idea because it was low-hanging fruit, I think it was so obvious, the characters are so iconic. Didn’t go the way I wanted.

It is worth examining that Lucasfilm avoided making a spinoff show about Luke and Obi-Wan’s time on Tatooine, perhaps to avoid any backlash in terms of continuity, given Luke knows so little about the Jedi Order in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977). If this was their goal, though, they still managed to ruffle some feathers by having Leia and Obi-Wan meet, somewhat retconning their first interaction in the Original Trilogy.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Credit: Lucasfilm

At the end of the day, Leterrier’s experience at Lucasfilm is an interesting glance behind the curtain of what it’s like to pitch a show at a major Hollywood studio — which, sadly, often ends in heartbreak. Hopefully, the director can sleep easily knowing he’s joined by an impressive ensemble of other Star Wars rejects like Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and Oscar-winner Guillermo Del Toro.

Do you think Louis Leterrier would have been a good choice for Star Wars? Did his pitch inadvertently pave the way for The Mandalorian? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

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