One of the most pleasant surprises in the first episode of The Mandalorian, which I’m sure Disney would like me to mention is streaming right now on Disney+ for the low, low price of $6.99 a month, is a supporting turn by one Werner Herzog. The director of such masterpieces as Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo, Herzog is also a very memorable screen presence in his own right, although he doesn’t take many acting gigs. He did show up for The Mandalorian though, where he plays the man who hires the title character for a dangerous bounty hunting mission.

As to why Herzog accepted the job, it certainly wasn’t because he was a fan of The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau. While Favreau has spent the last few years becoming one of the biggest directors in Hollywood — with a filmography that includes Iron ManThe Jungle Book, and The Lion King — and before that he was one of the hottest names in independent film, Herzog had apparently never seen a single one of his movies. Asked by Variety whether Favreau’s impressive body of work made him nervous, here was how Herzog responded:

Favreau has made some highly successful films recently; did you feel an element of pressure working with him?

I do not know what other films he has made.

You don’t?


He made “The Lion King” earlier this year with Beyonce and Donald Glover.

Well I like “The Lion King,” but the animated version 30 years back or so. That was a wonderful film, the music was particularly great, Hans Zimmer’s score.

Why am I not surprised Herzog likes The Lion King? A film about how nature is violent and deadly and base and awful? Yep, sounds like it would be right up that dude’s alley.

Herzog also told Variety he thinks he was chosen for his role because Favreau saw a kinship between what he was trying to do with the show and what Herzog does in his features and documentaries. Having watched the first episode I ... do not know that I see the relationship yet? But perhaps it will develop over future episodes. The next episode of The Mandalorian debuts on Friday.

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