Mandalorian second unit

When 2020 began, Sam Hargrave was best known as a stunt performer and second unit director for several Marvel Studios movies. Now, he’s the director of Netflix’s most-watched original movie ever, the Chris Hemsworth-starring action thriller Extraction. But while he waits for the Extraction follow-up film to be written, Hargrave is heading to a galaxy far, far away: he’s revealed that he’s the second unit director on season 2 of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian. Does this mean Baby Yoda will get into some brutal hand-to-hand combat in the new season? Please say yes.

Hargrave spent multiple movies playing Captain America’s stunt double before graduating to a fight/stunt coordinator in the MCU for Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. Perhaps his work on those movies drew the attention of The Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau, whose team reached out to Hargrave during post-production of Extraction and asked if he’d be up for a new challenge. As Hargrave explained to Collider:

“I was in the middle of post [-production on Extraction] and I’m editing my movie and I got a call from my buddy Colin Wilson, one of the line producers, who said, ‘Jon [Favreau] and the people over here are looking for someone to bring into the team or add to the family who has experience with action.’ The team that was there did a great job in the first season and it was just all fun. But they wanted to build on that and bring a new perspective and take it to another level for the next season. So, I was like, ‘That sounds like a fun challenge.'”

And it sounds like the bar for action in the series has been raised significantly. He continued:

“I know the footage we delivered, as a second-unit, they seemed to be happy with. 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.”

Here are a couple videos of Hargrave in action behind the scenes:

Hargrave’s feature directorial debut, Extraction, was on track to become the biggest movie premiere to ever hit Netflix, racking up a projected 90 million views in the first four weeks. (Netflix has not issued any further statements about its viewership numbers.) Joe Russo is currently writing the follow-up movie, which could either be a prequel or a sequel.

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