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Development news: Jennifer Kent partners with Guillermo del Toro; The Mandalorian to feature another classic droid

By Josh Weiss
Jennifer Kent

In today's development roundup, we've got a horror team-up for the ages, another Star Wars callback in The Mandalorian, and one more update surrounding DC's Birds of Prey movie since the big reveals yesterday.


The Nightingale director Jennifer Kent has revealed that she is working on a secretive project with horror master and Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro, reports Bloody Disgusting.

“Look, we’ve got something on the boil,” Kent said at Sundance. “I’m not being secretive but I’m not sure I can talk about it. It’s something scary and I really admire him and his work. I think he’s a true artist so I’m excited to know more. We’re in early stages of that.”

Kent made waves in 2014 with the release of The Babadook, an Australian creature feature about a monster that becomes real once you become aware of its existence.


We know next to nothing about The Mandalorian on Disney+, but creator Jon Favreau keeps hyping us up via social media by posting photos of familiar objects and characters.

His latest tease is an Instagram photo of the droid known as R5-D4, aka "Red" or the bot that Luke Skywalker and his Uncle Owen bought from the Jawas in A New Hope. R2-D2 wouldn't have entered Luke's life if R5's bad motivator didn't cause an egregious malfunction that prompted C-3PO to recommend they buy R2 instead.

Fun fact: Ted Mosby once dressed up as this little-known droid in How I Met Your Mother.

Jon Favreau R5-D4 Droid Star Wars The Mandalorian

Favreau's post seems to indicate that Red wasn't simply tossed into the junk pile after such a malfunction. R5 is just the latest in a long string of teases from the original trilogy. To date, Favreau has hinted at the return of IG-88 and Boba Fett's Amban phase-pulse blaster.

The Mandalorian is expected to debut on Disney+ later this year. Pedro Pascal leads an all-star cast that includes Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi, and Werner Herzog.


There is no set rating yet for Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), despite director Cathy Yan saying back in October that an R-rating was in the cards. (That news initially came via Deadline, which reported Yan's confirmation at the U.S.-China Entertainment Summit.)

Paul Shirley, JoBlo's editor-in-chief, confirmed the latest ratings update on Twitter, writing:

"From WB via e-mail: There is NO confirmed rating on Birds of Prey. Have a nice day."

We got our first look at the superhero film yesterday in a behind-the-scenes video that showcased Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), and other key players.

Birds of Prey opens in theaters Feb. 7, 2020.


Lastly, Billy Eichner confirmed that that Jon Favreau’s photorealistic remake of The Lion King for Disney will feature a duet of “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” between Donald Glover (Simba) and Beyoncé (Nala). 

“I play Timon, and Timon and Pumbaa [voiced by Seth Rogen] start singing ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight,’ and then it segues into Beyonce and Donald Glover singing it," Eichner said during an appearance on What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.

This was a key moment between the two characters in the original animated movie when they reconnected after many years apart. In that film, the adult versions of Simba and Nala were voiced by Matthew Broderick and Moira Kelly respectively, but the duet was sung by Joseph Williams and Sally Dworsky.

Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella) were also a part of the love ballad, voicing their sadness over Simba growing up and leaving them after they spent so many years raising him. The song was written by Tim Rice and Elton John.

Since Glover and Beyoncé are talented musicians before anything else, they’ll be handling the singing bits as well as the acting.

The Lion King roars into theaters July 19.