After the success of The Mandalorian, Disney wasted no time in announcing more live-action Star Wars series for its streaming service, including an Obi-Wan Kenobi series and a Rogue One prequel series focusing on rebel hero, Cassian Andor. The series recently cast actors Stellan Skarsgard and Kyle Soller and had completed six weeks in pre-production before it was delayed due to coronavirus. Original cast member Diego Luna is set to return in the lead as Cassian and it was also recently announced the casting of Genevieve O'Reilly returning to her role as Mon Mothma.
In a report from the official Star Wars website, it has been announced that Tony Gilroy, one of the writers of Rogue One, will now serve as showrunner on the series, replacing Stephen Schiff (The Americans). Schiff will remain on the writing staff along with Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler) and Beau Willimon (House of Cards).
Update: Star Wars' official website has also confirmed that the Cassian Andor live-action series will be set five years prior to the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, meaning that the show will take place in 5 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin) in the Star Wars timeline.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Similar to the Obi-Wan series in production which also recently got a new showrunner in Joby Harold, it seems the Rogue One prequel series is shifting things up in the midst of their stalled production. While there has been no reason given at this time for the showrunner swap, it's quite common for these changes to occur depending on the writer's commitments or based on a change in direction passed down from the studio. Gilroy has stepped in previously for Star Wars when he helmed the Rogue One reshoots and despite concerns over those at the time, the film turned out to be critical and financial success.
It's been teased that Gilroy will be bringing more of an Empire Strikes Back tone with the Cassian Andor series and that the show will keep the gritty, war focus that it had in the feature. The official word from Disney on announcement was that the series will be a "rousing spy thriller that will explore tales filled with espionage and daring missions". The track record of the writers on staff, who have worked on shows with a political or spy focus such as The Americans and House of Cards, signals that the series is set to live up to the genre and tone that it promises. And with Gilroy at the helm both writing and directing, the series has a higher chance of being a hit when it eventually comes to Disney+.