Jon Favreau hired for 'Star Wars' series: Why fans have mixed feelings

The director whose film launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe is coming to a galaxy far, far away. Jon Favreau, the filmmaker behind Iron Man, Elf, and Disney’s live-action Jungle Book and Lion King, will write and executive-produce a live-action Star Wars series for Disney’s new streaming platform. Lucasfilm announced today that Favreau, who is also an actor with roles in the Clone Wars animated series and the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story, will helm the new show. While Favreau has a strong fanbase (going all the way back to his 1996 debut film Swingers), many on social media are wondering why Lucasfilm has hired yet another white man to steer the diverse Star Wars universe — and announced it on International Women’s Day, no less.

Jon Favreau will voice this alien in <em>Solo: A Star Wars Story.</em> (Photo: Lucasfilm)
Jon Favreau will voice this alien in Solo: A Star Wars Story. (Photo: Lucasfilm)

“Jon brings the perfect mix of producing and writing talent, combined with a fluency in the Star Wars universe,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in the announcement. “This series will allow Jon the chance to work with a diverse group of writers and directors and give Lucasfilm the opportunity to build a robust talent base.”

Jon Favreau at the world premiere of <em>Star Wars: The Last Jedi</em> in Los Angeles. (Photo: Reuters/Danny Moloshok)
Jon Favreau at the world premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in Los Angeles. (Photo: Reuters/Danny Moloshok)

The phrase “diverse group of writers and directors” hints that Favreau might place women or people of color in key roles on the as-yet-unnamed series. But the carefully worded statement doesn’t say it outright, and fans still annoyed that the latest Star Wars trilogy will be helmed by the Game of Thrones creators were none too pleased.

The Favreau announcement seems especially jarring in light of Disney’s active push toward more inclusive blockbusters. Right now, Black Panther is the biggest movie in the world, and promotion for a A Wrinkle in Time (opening Friday) has heavily emphasized its female director and racially diverse cast. Recent Star Wars films have excelled at bringing women and minorities to the forefront of the story — yet behind the camera, it’s a different story. The good news: If Favreau and Kennedy want to get back on Twitter’s good side, they just need to borrow two little words from Frances McDormand: inclusion rider.

Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: