One of the major villains in the Star Wars franchise is almost guaranteed to make his return in the Mandoverse, as Grand Admiral Thrawn was name-dropped by Ahsoka Tano in The Mandalorian.
She’s searching for Thrawn because he disappeared with the Jedi padawan Ezra Bridger prior to the Battle of Yavin, and now in the post-Endor galaxy, the search for Ezra is on. That will presumably be a major focus of the upcoming Ahsoka series, such that the show has cast Natasha Liu-Bordizzo as Sabine Wren and Eman Esfandi as Ezra Bridger, while Hera Syndulla and Chopper are confirmed to appear as well. That all but confirms that this series will be the sequel to Rebels, thus focusing on this search.
And if that’s the case, then Thrawn can’t be far away either. The legendary Grand Admiral figures to be the central antagonist of sorts in the Mandoverse era, but his appearance has yet to be confirmed and no clear reports about casting have leaked either. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been rumors, speculating and mentioning different people for the role. But a recent report from a credible leaker, picked up by Bespin Bulletin, suggests that Lars Mikkelsen is indeed playing the live-action Thrawn, as has been rumored at times.
That would be a home run move, and he’s really the only choice I want playing the character right now. Mikkelsen voiced the character in Rebels and did a terrific job of it, and he looks the part enough that he could make the leap to live-action too. It wouldn’t be unheard of either, as Katee Sackhoff portrayed Bo-Katan Kryze in animation before making the leap to live-action for The Mandalorian.
Take all of this with a grain of salt until there’s something official, or at least reported by the major trades, but I’m really hoping this is true. Lars Mikkelsen is a perfect Thrawn, and I hope that he’s the one to bring the character to live-action for the first time.