Without a doubt, Disney+'s standout original series The Mandalorian can be labeled an action-adventure, with plenty of fisticuffs, blaster battles and explosions to keep fans sated. For anyone who felt like the action needed a boost, however, Season 2 will likely have you covered – at least with one of its episodes – as creator Jon Favreau and his production team brought in Extraction director Sam Hargrave to bring some action-infused hype to the second batch of Mandalorian episodes.
As opposed to helming single installment as an episode director, Sam Hargrave joined The Mandalorian as a second-unit director, giving him a lot more to handle. Before reaching the mainstream stage with Netflix's Extraction back in April, Hargrave has served as a stuntman and stunt coordinator in Hollywood for 15 years, working on such big-budget fare as Avengers: Endgame, Deadpool 2 and the Hunger Games films. When talking to Collider about bringing his brand of action to the Star Wars universe, here's what he said:
We worked closely with the stunt team there, with Bryan Watson and the team that had done the first season; they did a really great job. You know, it was just to bring a little extra perspective, add a few things, things I’ve learned while working on superhero movies, little tricks which make the performances easier and using visual effects to enhance certain things. Just bringing a little bit of experience and knowledge to where we could take it to another level and up the ante. The next season is really, really cool. The way the story arcs is really cool. So we tried to have the action represent that and take it to the next level. I think we did that.
Beyond the films mentioned above, Sam Hargrave also worked on Avengers: Infinity War, Suicide Squad, Thor: Ragnarok, both Captain America sequels, and even the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot, among many other projects. As such, he's more than equipped to take on giant action sequences, even if the Star Wars franchise doesn't technically count as superhero fare. I believe many out there would refer to Pedro Pascal's Mando as a hero, and if you think he's anything but super while flying around and blazing his flamethrower, then I don't know what to tell you.
Granted, because Sam Hargrave isn't the head honcho for each of the episodes, his efforts were at the mercy of the first-unit director and the editing team. In that sense, he technically doesn't know exactly what the end result will be for all the footage he filmed, but Hargrave still sounds confident that it's going to be a good time. In his words:
I am confident. The difference is, with Extraction, I’m in the editing room so I can be extremely confident [the action] is going to be what it’s going to be. I’m not editing these episodes. . . . But I know the footage we delivered, as a second-unit, they seemed to be happy with.
As a comic-esque action movie, Extraction ticked off all the major boxes, instilling audiences with faith that Sam Hargrave is likely now a force to be reckoned with in the action realm. Landing a job on The Mandalorian can only help his prospects, especially since he's already warmed up to Disney and Marvel in the past ten years of stunt-work. In fact, he was personally called up for the job by one of Mandalorian's line producers, who happened to be a buddy of his, and the rest is long-ago history in a galaxy far away.