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WIRE Buzz: The Mandalorian S2 taps Rodriguez; Chris Nolan pens movie theater essay; more

By Josh Weiss
Robert Rodriguez The Mandalorian

Robert Rodriguez is bringing his directorial talents to the galaxy far, far away.

According to /FILM (h/t HN Entertainment), the Alita: Battle Angel filmmaker is among the directors tapped for Season 2 of The Mandalorian. James Mangold (Logan) was rumored to be among the group, but eventually shot down the speculation on Twitter. /FILM was also the first outlet to break the news of Rosario Dawson being cast as the show's live-action version of Ahsoka Tano.

Robert Rodriguez The Mandalorian

Created by Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian takes place five years after the Empire's defeat in Return of the Jedi. Pedro Pascal plays the titular bounty hunter, who navigates the lawless worlds in the farthest reaches of the galaxy. His steady existence is upended, however, when he decides to protect a strange child that hails from the same mysterious species as Jedi Master Yoda.

Based on his track record with the western genre and outlaw characters, Rodriguez will feel right at home in the world of this Star Wars series.

Dave Filoni, Rick Famuyiwa, Deborah Chow, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Taika Waititi directed Season 1. The Mandalorian's sophomore season premieres on Disney+ this fall.

While he waits for the green light on the Alita sequel, Rodriguez will debut his next movie, Red 11, on streaming service Tubi. The psychological horror flick was inspired by the director's experience at a medical research facility, where he raised the money for his first feature film, El Mariachi.

With movie theaters closing around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight) wants us to make sure that they'll be able to bounce back once the health scare is over. As a movie maker who utilizes IMAX and special effects to their uttermost potential, Nolan is obviously a big supporter not just of seeing films on the biggest screen possible, but of enjoying them with other people as well.

"When this crisis passes, the need for collective human engagement, the need to live and love and laugh and cry together, will be more powerful than ever," Nolan wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. "The combination of that pent-up demand and the promise of new movies could boost local economies and contribute billions to our national economy. We don’t just owe it to the 150,000 workers of this great American industry to include them in those we help, we owe it to ourselves. We need what movies can offer us."

Christopher Nolan

Indeed, the National Association of Theatre Owners is imploring Congress to pass a relief bill, lest the entire industry of theatrical exhibition go completely bankrupt.

"The situation is that dire,” NATO president John Fithian told Variety. "Overnight, we went from an industry that makes $15 billion a year — $11 billion in ticket sales and $4 billion in concessions — to one that is not going to make a penny for three or four months."

Christopher Nolan's next theatrical release is Tenet, a globe-trotting spy thriller with a sci-fi twist. Not much is known about the plot, but John David Washington leads an A-list ensemble cast made up of Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh.

The film is scheduled for a July 17 release.

Since we began this Buzz with a piece of Star Wars news, it only seems fitting that we close out with one, too. Thanks to a new animated short from Galaxy of Adventures, you can enjoy Leia Organa's journey from a rebellious princess in the original trilogy to general of the entire Resistance in the sequel trilogy.

Hearing the reassuring voice of the late Carrie Fisher is just what we need right now. She'll be with us ... always. And speaking of acting legends we've lost, the video begins with a sound bite from Lor San Tekka, the galactic explorer played by the late Max von Sydow.

Watch below: