James Mangold says he’s not directing the Star Wars Boba Fett movie – was he driven away by toxic fans?

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Just yesterday I was saying how most Star Wars rumours usually turn out to be complete balderdash, but sometimes that can even happen to solid reports from reputed sources. That appears to be the case for the long-rumoured standalone Boba Fett movie which had been widely reported recently would be written and directed by James Mangold. With big publications like Variety and THR pretty much reporting this news as fact, you could see why everybody believed it despite Disney never making an official announcement. Maybe we should just have asked James Mangold.

While retaliating to somebody on Twitter who was criticizing the potential Boba Fett movie as the “worst idea ever,” the Logan filmmaker revealed that his next project is actually “a period car racing movie w/ Christian Bale & Matt Damon.” Mangold went on to clarify that there was “No Mandalorians involved” in this production and that people should “Stop reading so much gossip,” before rounding it all off with a very timely jab at the current controversial US politics.

Now, as Mangold points out, it could be that the reports for his original involvement in this project may just have been gossip, but there could also be some alternatives. Another recent report claimed that in the wake of Solo: A Star Wars Story’s unprecedented failure, Disney and Lucasfilm were canning all other standalone Star Wars movies. An individual within the Disney-owned ABC News would refute this just a short while later, but maybe there’s a kernel of truth? Maybe all standalone Star Wars movies have not been shelved, but a Boba Fett movie – which has always been a tenuous prospect to begin with based on how the iconic Mandalorian character is essentially nothing more than a cool helmet and a jetpack – did get the chop.

There’s another, more worrying alternative to why Mangold is now saying he’s no longer on board for a Boba Fett movie though. As you no doubt may have heard, Star Wars fandom is a toxic slag pit as certain, so-called hardcore fans have harassed filmmakers and actors online because they disagree with the story/character decisions of the movies. This is not a new thing, as news broke two weeks back that the actor who played Jar Jar Binks in the Prequel Trilogy was driven to the point of suicide by similar fans haranguing him for his role. Star Wars creator George Lucas himself stepped away from the franchise because of how everything he did got vilified to the extreme by these scum.


And I do call them scum. As a lifelong Star Wars fan myself, seeing how these hateful people go on is aggravating. And before somebody inevitably jumps on their keyboards to take me to task, I am not lumping all critical Star Wars fans in this group. I enjoyed the new Star Wars films for the most part, but they have legitimate filmmaking flaws that need to be discussed and addressed. I know people that really disliked The Last Jedi, but did so for very rational reasons. This is not what I’m referring to. I’m referring to hateful, derogatory comments and unsolicited personal attacks on people like The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, often for no other reason than the story he wrote went into a different direction as to what these fans, without any evidence, had built up in their heads would happen. Or, hell, just what race they are.

So what does this have to do with Mangold? Well, he and several other filmmakers have recently been taking to social media to speak out against this toxic harassment. In particular, how working on a Star Wars movie – a dream gig for many of these filmmakers who grew up with Lucas’ original films which in many cases was what inspired them to start their careers – is pretty much a social death sentence. No matter what you do, there will always be somebody who doesn’t just hate it, but goes out of their way to publically attack you on it in the most disgusting manner possible.

As Mission: Impossible – Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie recently pointed out on Twitter in a lengthy cry against toxic fandoms (which has unfortunately now been deleted, but was well worth the read) that he was “cured” of his passion to make a Star Wars movie after seeing how Rian Johnson and his cast were harassed. McQuarrie’s subsequent tweets have called out these “fans” who can’t seem to tell the difference between criticizing a movie and attacking the people who made it (with some then going on to prove his exact point).

With an environment as hostile as that, would it really be that surprising to learn that Mangold was in fact going to make a Boba Fett movie but has now chosen to rather step away? Until we get something official from Disney, this is admittedly all still speculation, but I really can’t see how any filmmaker would willingly submit themselves to this.

Last Updated: July 11, 2018

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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