James Mangold’s “Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi” Film Taps “House of Cards” Creator Beau Willimon as Co-Writer

Beau Willimon knows a thing or two about crafting diabolical characters on the hunt for power. This is what makes it so interesting that the creator of House of Cards has been tapped to co-write director James Mangold’s upcoming Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi.

Willimon and Mangold will be quite a force working together, and the story they’re setting out to tell couldn’t be more mythic. Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi aims to reveal the very origins of the Force and will be set at a time well, well before any previous Star Wars film or show—25,000 years in the past.

Dawn of the Jedi (this title is subject to change, by the way) was revealed at the Star Wars Celebration in London in April of 2023. Mangold has a ton of experience dipping into franchises and making something new and memorable. His 2017 film Logan, which portrayed the final days and weeks of the beloved X-Men tough guy Wolverine and his mentor, Professor X, proved that Mangold relishes making myths and dealing in pathos with well-known characters. His agile, riveting 2019 race epic Ford v Ferrari once again showed how creative he was no matter the genre. Not for nothing, he stepped in and sent Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones on his last mission in 2023’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. 

For his Star Wars film, Mangold told Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy that he was interested in going deep into the most sacred mythology in the entire Galaxy.

“I thought about a biblical epic, like a Ten Commandments, about the dawning of the Force. Where did the Force come from, when did we discover it, when did we learn how to use it?” Mangold said during the Star Wars Celebration.

There’s a lot going on in that galaxy far, far away at the moment, including Leslye Headland’s upcoming Disney+ series The Acolyte, the return of Daisy Ridley as Rey in a brand new Star Wars movie from Oscar-winning documentarian and Ms. Marvel director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the feature The Mandalorian & Grogu from Jon Favreau, and the upcoming series Skeleton Crew.

Mangold is currently working on A Complete Unknown, a Bob Dylan biopic starring Timothée Chalamet. After that, he and Willimon will likely turn their attention to Dawn of the Jedi.

This isn’t Willimon’s first time working on a Star Wars project—he wrote three episodes of Tony Gilroy’s excellent Disney+ series Andor, including the sensational prison break episode “One Way Out,” which earned him an Emmy nomination. Now, he’ll be deploying his writing chops for a film that aspires to shed light on every Star Wars film and series, animated and live-action, that have come before, which is the kind of challenge a Jedi would respect.

For more on all things Star Wars, check out these stories:

Darkness Rises in “The Acolyte” Trailer, Revealing a New Kind of “Star Wars” Series

Disney+’s New “Star Wars” Series “The Acolyte” Unveils Premiere Date

New “Star Wars” Movie “The Mandalorian & Grogu” Announced From Director Jon Favreau

“Ahsoka” Cinematographer Eric Steelberg on Lensing a Rebel Jedi’s Journey Through Time & Space

Featured image: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 15: Beau Willimon arrives at the special 3-episode launch event for Lucasfilm’s original series Andor at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California on September 15, 2022. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)


The Credits

The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.