Well, this isn’t particularly surprising. Taika Waititi, one of the most popular directors working right now after a string of crowd-pleasing favourites, is being eyed to direct a Star Wars movie.
Per THR, Lucasfilm is hoping the director comes aboard the franchise after directing Thor: Love And Thunder for Marvel.
Waititi actually already has some Star Wars experience, as he directed the last episode of Disney+ series, The Mandalorian. He also voiced the bounty hunter IG-11 on the show.
It’s unclear if this Star Wars project is the same one that Marvel czar Kevin Feige is producing, or a separate one. Since the two worked together in the MCU, collaborating again would make sense.
Lucasfilm’s interest in Waititi isn’t surprising. His most recent film, Jojo Rabbit, just got a Best Picture nomination, and Thor: Ragnarok breathed new life into the Marvel god after two lacklustre movies. He’s also made two of the best-loved films of the last decade with What We Do In The Shadows and Hunt For The Wilderpeople.
Perhaps importantly for Lucasfilm, Waititi has also become a bit of a brand. He’s charismatic, a great interview, and knows how to market a film. That’s an added bonus for any studio.
Waititi has already wrapped shooting on his next film, Next Goal Wins, a sports comedy starring Michael Fassbender. He also remains attached to direct Warner Bros.’ live-action remake of Akira, though that has remained up in the air for a while.
Love And Thunder is expected to begin filming this summer. It already has a November 5, 2021 release date lined up. So expect Waititi, if he signs on for Star Wars, to begin pre-production by the end of the year.
Getting Waititi would be a huge coup for Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy, as The Rise Of Skywalker was poorly received, and the studio would like to inject a sense of hope back into the fanbase.
That’s especially true since the status of Rian Johnson‘s trilogy is now up in the air, while Game Of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss abandoned their planned trilogy back in October.
Thus, for the first time in a while, the status of Star Wars is very much unclear. The addition of Waititi would be a positive development.
The only potential hang up is whether Waititi wants to attach himself to another franchise. He’s already entrenched in the MCU, does he want to carve out a spot for himself in the Star Wars universe as well? Especially when that would likely limit the amount of time he’d have to create original films? We’ll see.