Disney and Lucasfilm have tapped Toby Haynes to replace Tony Gilroy as the director of the upcoming Cassian Andor series centered around Diego Luna‘s character from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Gilroy’s involvement was seen as a huge boost for the project, but don’t worry — he’s still involved in a major way! Deadline reports that Gilroy handed off directing duties to Haynes due to travel concerns related to the pandemic. Gilroy lives in New York and the show is preparing to shoot in the U.K., so he simply felt safer staying in the States and serving as showrunner (and executive producer) from home. I can’t say I blame the guy, as I wouldn’t advise any 64-year-old to travel outside the country at the moment.
According to Deadline, Haynes was already high on the list of directors who could come in to direct a block of episodes, so now he’ll just direct the first three episodes rather than join the show midseason. Haynes was already in the U.K., so it just made sense to have him fill in for Gilroy.
Originally described as a spy thriller, the untitled show takes place before the events of Rogue One in the early days of the Rebellion against the Empire. It will be the second live-action Star Wars series following The Mandalorian, which will return to Disney+ for a second season next month. The streaming service is also developing an Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor.
Haynes is a veteran TV helmer whose credits include Doctor Who and the upcoming Amazon series Utopia, which premieres this Friday and is quite entertaining. He also directed the HBO movie Brexit starring Benedict Cumberbatch and the Emmy-winning Black Mirror episode “U.S.S. Callister” starring Jesse Plemons, which became an instant fan favorite.